Lunar New Year at The Ridge


February 1st marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year. For many in the Marriotts Ridge community, it’s a day marked with celebrating the joy of togetherness.
Chinese New Year is a huge celebration in Chinese culture that commemorates the beginning of a new year based on the lunisolar calendar. Those who celebrate this holiday may partake in several traditional activities that carry symbolic meaning in Chinese culture. Among these activities are the sweeping of dust, a symbol of sweeping away the bad luck in order to welcome the good luck of the new year; exchanging red envelopes, the color red signifying prosperity and wealth; and setting off firecrackers as a way of warding off evil spirits.
Along with these festive activities to celebrate the new year, many Chinese families will eat traditional Chinese dishes that symbolize different wishes for the new year.
“Dumplings represent wealth, Nian Gao (a traditional glutinous rice cake) represents a general improvement in life, and fish, a must-have dish, represents a surplus in the year,” Marriotts Ridge’s Chinese teacher Ms. Liu said. “Other traditional Chinese New Year foods include spring rolls, Tangyuan (sweet rice balls), and longevity noodles.”
The Chinese New Year celebrations and activities will even take place within Marriotts Ridge. The students at Marriotts Ridge who are enrolled in the Chinese course learn about Chinese New Year every year.
“Based on the Zodiac year each year, we will feature each animal’s crafts and activities. For example, 2022 is the year of the tiger. We will be making a tiger craft and learning about the tiger stories from China,” Ms. Liu said.
The Chinese Club at Marriotts Ridge will also celebrate and share information about the New Year with the school.
“Our Chinese Club has tentatively decided to present a TV program that all Chinese people watch every year, the New Year Festival’s Gala,” president of the Chinese Club, Alex Liu said.
The Chinese Club will also teach its members how to make a traditional lantern and share a Chinese New Year fun fact with the student body on the morning announcements.
As with many activities during the pandemic, Covid-19 has created difficulties in the ability to get together for holidays and festivities.
“Usually we make dumplings for the feast, and also set off firecrackers and other activities. I’m not sure about what we’ll be doing now because of Covid, but I hope there will be a way for us to still meet with friends to celebrate,” sophomore Erica Qin said.
Despite setbacks Covid-19 may create in allowing people to gather for this holiday, Marriotts Ridge students who celebrate the New Year can participate in the activities offered by the Chinese Club.
The Chinese courses and Chinese Club at Marriotts Ridge are doing their best to share these traditions with the school community for the new year; Mustangs have a lot to get excited for!