February 12, 2021 marked the start of the Lunar New Year, according to the lunisolar calendar which uses the orbit of the moon and the sun’s position to determine the monthly cycles, unlike the Georgian calendar which starts the new year on January 1. Over 1.5 billion people, mostly in China and other parts of East Asia, celebrate Lunar New Year, known as the Chinese New Year or the Spring Festival.
On New Year’s Eve or chuxi, family and friends gather for large dinners. In northern China, people eat dumplings, in which one contains a coin or something special. The person who consumes that dumpling should have good luck in the new year. In southern China, typical meals include a year cake (nian gao), soup balls (tang yuan), hot pot, or fish.
Fish is popular because of the Chinese idiom 年年有余（nian nian you yuthe play of words and pronunciations make 余 (yu) which means a surplus and 鱼 (yu) which is fish. Therefore, the saying of 年年有余（nian nian you yu）means an abundance of life and gratefulness.
Children receive a red pocket (hongbao), usually filled with money. Families worship their ancestors, fill their homes with decoration, and flight firecrackers and fireworks.
The New Year’s Gala, Chunwan, features singers, dancers, comedy skits, magicians, and acrobats. To protect the house from bad spirits and ensure good luck, revelers watch shou sui.
During our distancing restrictions, Academy’s Chinese teachers and their students will show the community a video celebrating the new year.