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Chinese New Year: The Year of the Horse

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Chinese New Year is an important traditional holiday in the Chinese culture and is celebrated on the first day of new year according to the lunar-based Chinese calendar. Translated from the modern Chinese name, the new year means Spring Festival, as the celebrations goes from the Chinese New Year's Eve to the 15th day of the next month, also making it the longest Chinese holiday. The tradition is centuries old and was meant to honor ancestors and deities although customs have changed over time. Today the eve of the new year is typically celebrated with an annual family reunion dinner and windows and doors are decorated in red paper-cuts with themes such as longevity and good fortune. Firecrackers and red envelopes containing "lucky money" are given to children in celebration. The color red and firecrackers both symbolize fire which, according to legend, drives away bad luck. Although the new year is traditionally a family holiday, many immigrant families in countries such as the U.S. lack extended family and therefore turn to the community to celebrate which is why it is common to see parades and lion dances in the streets in communities such as Chinatown here in Boston. This year the Chinese New Year begins on Friday, January 31st Want to experience Chinese New Year locally and learn more about one of largest cultural groups in the world? Here are some events that might interest you throughout Boston, whether you traditionally celebrate the Chinese New Year or are just interested in having some culturally enriching fun. Click on the event to be redirected to the official site for more information.

 

Chinese New Year Feast

Organized at the Whole Foods in Dedham Jan. 31st

A demonstration-style class shows you how to make a few classic Chinese dishes that represent prosperity, health, joy, and longevity such as dumplings and beef and broccoli noodles. What could be better than some warm and savory Chinese cuisine to brighten up a cold winter day!


Lunar New Year Festival

Organized by the Peabody Essex Museum on Feb. 1st.

Traditional lion dances, a screening of a film set in Boston's Chinatown, break dancing and swordplay workshops and more! If you don't mind a ride to Salem this event will demonstrate the many sides of the complex traditions involved with the Chinese New Year celebrations for adults and children alike.

Chinese Lion Dance Parade

February 9th from 11am-5pm on Beach St. and other nearby streets in Chinatown

What could be better than watching the annual lion dance parade held in Boston's Chinatown? Totally free, this parade is accessible by the MBTA. Local vendors set out traditional Chinese food along the path of the lion costume as it dances through the streets at the end of the New Years celebrations in mid February. Whether you celebrate the Chinese New Year or are just interested in a lively event and delicious food, this parade is the perfect finale to the vibrant celebration.  To learn more about the Chinese Lion Dance Parade check out images and descriptions of the Boston Discovery Guide from 2013. 

Do you, or have you ever celebrated the Chinese New Year before? How? We want to know

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