It’s time for Lu­nar New Year!

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By AMY HE in New York amyhe@chi­nadai­

From the West Coast to the East, the Chi­nese com­mu­nity all across the US is ring­ing in the Lu­nar New Year with fire­crack­ers, food, fam­ily, and of course, plenty of lucky red en­velopes to go around.

This year is the Year of the Horse, which sym­bol­izes good health, pros­per­ity, and am­bi­tion, with fam­i­lies hop­ing for a 2014 full of for­tune and luck in the work­place.

In New York City, the top of the Em­pire State Build­ing has been lit up since Thurs­day night with lights of red and gold to cel­e­brate the New Year. The Con­sul Gen­eral of China in New York, Sun Guoxiang, was present at a light­ing cer­e­mony on Wed­nes­day at the build­ing, where he re­marked that the Day of Spring Fes­ti­val win­dow dis­play at the en­trance of the build­ing made him feel “as if we were back in Bei­jing, cel­e­brat­ing our tra­di­tional Spring Fes­ti­val among fam­ily and friends”.

Peter Koo, New York City Coun­cil mem­ber from Queens, told China Daily that he cel­e­brated by hav­ing a fam­ily re­union din­ner on Lu­nar New Year’s eve with his wife and daugh­ter.

“My wife cooked foods con­sid­ered to bring luck and good for­tune, and we had fish,” he said, re­fer­ring to how Chi­nese peo­ple tra­di­tion­ally en­joy seafood dur­ing the New Year be­cause the Chi­nese word for fish — yu — sounds like the word for “sur­plus”.

“We’ll also be vis­it­ing my side of the fam­ily and my wife’s side of the fam­ily dur­ing the weekend and hav­ing din­ner with them too, and we’ll hand out red en­velopes to the kids,” Koo said.

Also over the weekend in Houston, over 600 fans of the Jeremy Lin Fan Club will cel­e­brate the New Year by catch­ing the bas­ket­ball star in a Houston Rock­ets game against the Cleve­land Cava­liers on Satur­day.

Alice Chen, board mem­ber of the Foun­da­tion Com­mit­tee of Houston Com­mu­nity Col­lege and the Asian com­mu­nity li­ai­son to Con­gress­man Al Green, said that in ad­di­tion to dec­o­rat­ing her home with Chi­nese po­etic cou­plets — of­ten phrases that wish for good health and pros­per­ity in the New Year — she will be don­ning tra­di­tional Chi­nese dress and vis­it­ing var­i­ous Lu­nar New Year cel­e­bra­tions on be­half of the con­gress­man.

On the West Coast, di­rec­tor of an­a­lyt­ics insight at tech­nol­ogy com­pany Mar­ket­Share, Athena Dai spent her Lu­nar New Year’s eve with plenty of home cook­ing and a tra­di­tional view­ing of the an­nual New Year’s Gala, a four-hour long pro­gram pro­duced by CCTV ev­ery year that has a view­er­ship of more than 700 mil­lion.

“A spring fes­ti­val with­out dumplings, home­town-style dishes and watch­ing the [CCTV pro­gram] is in­com­plete,” Dai said.

Vis­it­ing fam­ily dur­ing the New Year — bainian in Chi­nese — is hard for some Chi­nese fam­i­lies, since many have rel­a­tives who are spread out across the coun­try or are back home in China.

“Af­ter al­most 30 years in the US, I still miss the Chi­nese New Year tra­di­tion of bainian: vis­it­ing friends, co­work­ers, teach­ers and those im­por­tant in our lives,” said Mark Wen, pres­i­dent of the Wash­ing­ton State China Cham­ber of Com­merce.

But since this year’s Lu­nar New Year weekend co­in­cides with the Su­per Bowl XLVIII, Wen said he and his fam­ily will be go­ing to a hy­brid dumpling-Su­per Bowl party in­stead — “a per­fect com­bi­na­tion of Amer­i­can and Chi­nese cul­tural cel­e­bra­tions!” Linda Deng in Seat­tle, Chang Jun in San Fran­cisco, and May Zhou in Houston con­trib­uted to this story.


On be­half of the Gov­ern­ment of On­tario, Pre­mier Kath­leen Wynne ex­tends warm greet­ings to all On­tar­i­ans mark­ing the Chi­nese New Year on Fri­day at Queen’s Park in Toronto. She said that the cel­e­bra­tions of the Chi­nese New Year across the prov­ince re­flect the di­verse so­ci­ety in which we live, and she wishes to ac­knowl­edge the sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions of Chi­nese Cana­di­ans to the so­cial, cul­tural and eco­nomic life of On­tario.

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