Horse brings success in Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year begins January 31

Chinese New Year begins January 31

Blythe Alsbaugh

January 31st kicked off the start of the Chinese New Year, which is also known as the Spring Festival.

The Spring Festival is a time of celebration in China. It is similar to American Thanksgiving in that families get together and stay together for the ten days leading up to the festival, and the ten days following it.

Traditionally, it is also one of the biggest holidays in China.

For Chinese international students, it can be difficult to celebrate as extensively as their home country does.

“Normally, every year [Chinese international students] go home,” said Kevin Yi, modern and classical languages professor. “For the first year students, it’s hard for them. It’s the first time they are away from home and the first time they are supposed to be home with family.”

However, celebration isn’t impossible. Zoe Li, a senior accounting major, uses social media to wish her family well and video chats with her close family.

“I [also] wait for the weekend of the New Year week, and then a bunch of good friends come over and we cook together for the dinner. During the dinner, we watch the traditional TV entertainment program.”

During the eve of the Chinese New Year, a four-hour long show is broadcast across the country. “[It’s] kind of like the Super bowl Halftime Show” said Yi. “Everybody’s watching it.”

According to Yi, the show normally features singers, dancers, acrobatics and even martial arts. There is also traditionally a comedy show of two comedians bantering back and forth.

“It’s a good story,” said Yi. “It’s a feel good show.”

This year is the year of the horse, in alignment with the Chinese Zodiac. The horse symbolizes success, and is a good symbol in Chinese culture.

“The spirit of a dragon horse means that somebody has a very upbeat and high spirit, and will be deemed to be successful,” Yi said.

For Chinese international students, this is a time of celebration and happiness.

“It’s about happiness, family and sharing,” Li said.

“I think people should avoid saying any bad words at this time,” said Renata Tang, sophomore early childhood education major. “People believe good words bring good luck.”

Yi said American students should keep an open mind. “I think every group has their own festival, so to speak, and that’s just a tradition,” said Yi.

“People are trying to encourage each other. Just say, ‘Happy Chinese New Year!’ Our holiday season is over, but theirs has just started.”

Contact Blythe Alsbaugh at [email protected]