Happy Lunar New Year!
Lunar New Year is a fifteen-day celebration marking the arrival of spring and the beginning of a new year on the lunisolar calendar, determined by both the moon (lunar) and the sun (solar). The celebration most often occurs between the end of January and February, and this year it started on Sunday, January 22nd. Lunar New Year is the most important holiday in China and it is also widely celebrated in South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan and Hong Kong. To that end, it is often celebrated by many Asian-American communities.
Lunar New Year is observed with a variety of rituals and festivities depending on the country of origin. For example, some families may clean their household to get rid of the previous year’s bad luck and make room for good fortune in the coming year. Some communities decorate with the color red as it symbolizes joy and good fortune. Their decorations may also include an animal zodiac sign. Many Lunar New Year traditions center around family and food. For example, elders of the family may give red envelopes of money to younger family members, and families will gather around a traditional meal. The third day of Lunar New Year is typically reserved for honoring deceased relatives either by visiting graves, lighting incense or making paper offerings in memory of loved ones. The seventh day usually recognizes renri, the creation of human beings, and is a day that honors humanity’s connection to all living things. The Lantern Festival typically closes the Lunar New Year Festival and celebrates the first full moon after the Lunar New Year.
There was a tragic shooting yesterday during a Lunar New Year celebration in California. We are deeply saddened by this news and want to share our love and our support with everyone affected by this tragedy. At Distinctive Schools, in solidarity, we will continue to be allies and advocates for ending systemic racism, bias and discrimination.