The year of the dog is almost here; ever heard of Chinese zodiac animals? Legend has it that the Jade Emperor called on all animals to take part in a race, and the first 12 animals to finish would be included in his calendar – leading to the idea of the zodiac and the new year. Unlike the American New Year, Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, Spring Festival, or Tet, is a three-day celebration that doesn’t have a set date – it changes every year based on the Chinese lunar calendar. This week, Chinese New Year celebrations will kick off around the world as the Year of the Dog officially begins on Friday, February 16th.
Every year, millions of people around the world wear red for good luck and ring in the Chinese New Year with family, fireworks, potlucks, and an animal representative of that year – since there are 12 animals, the next time that we’ll be in the year of the dog will be 2030.
For me, there are few things in the world that are better than Christmas – Chinese New Year is one of them, because it’s always marked by relatives giving me money in red paper envelopes. Seriously, what’s better than getting free money? While I’ve been having a ton of fun here, this year is the first year that I won’t be at home to celebrate the New Year with my family – which is why I was so excited to hear that the Modern Languages department would be hosting a Lunar New Year celebration! The celebration will take place this Saturday, February 17th from 4 – 8 pm in the Sassafras common room, with plenty of music, games, and most importantly – food! I hope to see you there!