How AV students celebrated lunar new year

Shuchi Parikh, Staff Writer

On February 11th, students throughout Amador Valley celebrated the evening before Lunar New Year with their families.

“It’s  [Lunar New Year’s] similar to New Years but Asian countries go off the Lunar Calendar, so the first day of the new year occurs in February. Some common traditions for Lunar New Year are having a big feast, gifting red pouches with money, wearing red, and cleaning out the house,” said Grace Chen (‘21).

Lunar New Year grants the opportunity to connect with immediate and extended relatives alike, as families come together to celebrate over a large meal or fun games. The pandemic did force most celebrations to remain small, as large gatherings could risk the safety of all family members involved.

“We usually have family friends over and it’s a bigger gathering similar to what Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners are like. However, this year, our Lunar New Year dinner was just among my immediate family, or mom, dad, and brother,” said Madeline Day (‘21).

However, these smaller celebrations did not stop the elaborate meals that are a common sight at Lunar New Year gatherings. Signature dishes lined the tables, as families relish the variety of food.

“The reunion dinner is my favorite Lunar New Year tradition. We usually prepare fish, rice cakes, dumplings, and noodles, among other foods, because tradition goes that eating those foods on Lunar New Year’s Eve will bring prosperity and good fortune,” said Vivien Song (‘21).

Another enjoyable tradition is the creating and eating of special desserts that families can enjoy together as they reminisce about the memories of the past year and hopes for the year ahead.

Another enjoyable tradition is the creating and eating of special desserts that families can enjoy together as they reminisce about the memories of the past year and hopes for the year ahead.

“My favorite tradition is making and eating nian-gao, or New Year’s Rice Cake. It’s chewy and sweet. Nian means sticky but it’s also a homonym for year, so the translation is like New Year’s Sticky Cake,” said Day.

Although COVID-19 may have changed Lunar New Year celebrations this year, Amador Valley students have shown that it can still be an enjoyable celebration where families spend time together and have a special feast.