By Yuri Kim
The Lunar New Year of 2017 began on Jan. 28. With the end of 2016, the year of the fire monkey, 2017 began the year of the rooster.
The Lunar New Year is important to many Alameda High School students of Asian heritage.
“The Lunar New Year basically represents a person’s culture and the hopes of an exciting year. It’s also a day to be with your family and spend some quality time together,” said senior Allana Ilagan.
At Alameda High School, Mandarin classes were educated about the Lunar New Year’s customs and celebrated the special event.
“In class, we went over the basic traditions and greetings. And since the Lunar New Year happened on Saturday, on Monday, we brought special foods like fish and oranges that represent prosperity and fortune,” said senior Mabel Wang.
Even though the Lunar New Year is often called “Chinese New Year,” many Asian countries including Korea, Vietnam, and the Philippines celebrate this event from late January to the middle of February.
“In Korea, the Lunar New Year is called Seollal. It’s a day really just to be with your family,” said junior Jaeyong Kim. “My family basically had a special breakfast where my mom prepared a kind of rice soup.”
Along with special meals, events celebrating the Lunar New Year were held all over the Bay Area.
“On Sunday, my family and I also went to the San Francisco where we saw a Lunar New Year performace. A lot of students performed, and I got to see a really cool Lion Dance,” said Kim.
The event that Kim was referring to was the Lunar New Year Celebration. There, performers from the Chinese American International School entertained audiences.
Senior Jasmine Hoang attended the SF New Year Festival and parade nearby.
“I went there with my family and grandparents. I got to see the Lincoln Middle School band in the parade. It reminded me of the times I used to be in that band performing in San Francisco,” said Hoang.