HOW BOARDING STUDENTS & FAMILIES CELEBRATED THE NEW YEAR
By Xi “Vivian” Zhu, Grade 10
For most of my life, I have celebrated Chinese New Year in China, but this year has been very different. This year is special because instead of celebrating Chinese New Year with my family, I celebrated with my friends and boarding staff. There are many things that we did to celebrate the festival.
First, we decorated and created the atmosphere of Chinese New Year in Boarding. Second, we had buns, dumplings, and fortune cookies for New Year’s Eve. Third, we received Hóng Bāo, which is money gifted in a red envelope or packet for luck. Fourth, we lit sparklers. And finally, we did some traditional activities like calligraphy and paper-cutting. Surprisingly, the things that we did were mostly the same as back home, but, to me, the most important idea of Chinese New Year is being together. No matter who we are with, as long as everyone enjoys themselves, it is a perfect New Year.
This is always one of my favourite festivals. Along with many of the previously mentioned activities, my family traditions include wrapping dumplings, watching the New Year gala, strolling through the flower market, and visiting our relatives. People like to put a kumquat or a coin inside one of the dumplings, and whoever eats that dumpling will have good fortune throughout the year. Even though I miss my family very much, I am grateful that we were able to celebrate Chinese New Year in Boarding this year.
Chinese New Year, the first day of the lunar calendar, is a traditional festival in China. For us, Chinese New Year is a time for family reunions. When I was little, I went to school in the city, but during Chinese New Year my family would stay at my grandparents’ house in the country. In my memory, Chinese New Year smells like spring rolls with red bean filling and fireworks. I still remember one year; it was snowing, and my grandma was preparing for New Year’s dinner. The adults were chatting, and me and my cousins were playing games. That night, I fell asleep with the sound of fireworks in my ears.
This year is the first Chinese New Year I have been with my family in the five years since I first came to Balmoral Hall School in Grade 6. Even though I am no longer a young child, I still enjoyed seeing everyone together. These scenes will stay in my heart forever and ever. Happy New Year!