Hopping into the year of the rabbit

Emma Kaber, A & E Editor

26th January, 2023

The Lunar New Year symbolizes new beginnings for many different people around the world and around our campus. Lunar New Year started on January 22nd and went until February 5th. The Asian American and Pacific Islander Club (AAPI) hosted a New Year’s celebration on January 24th. The celebration included food, both homemade and catered. The club decorated the room with red, a color that symbolizes luck, joy, and happiness. As we enter the Year of the Rabbit, families indulge in their traditions. 

“We exchange red envelopes(containing money) with family, even extended family” senior and AAPI co-president Kyra Alway said. “We don’t clean on New Year’s day because it’s bad juju.” Traditions such as the red envelopes are commonplace in many Asian cultures. 

“We open our red envelopes from last year,” senior and AAPI co-president Ai-Lan McGoldrick said, “We have to wait an entire year to get our money.” As with most cultures, the most important part of any celebration is the food. “We eat pho and clean up on New Year’s Eve in preparation for guests to arrive.” McGoldrick said, “But we gotta keep the dust.” Cleaning the house on New Years is taboo because it’s seen as throwing out the good luck from last year. 

Even though for many Lunar New Year is a time of joy, it has not been so for others around the state. A mass shooting at a Lunar New Year celebration on January 22nd in Monterey Park, CA left 11 dead. This was the worst of a series of Lunar New Year shootings in California.

“The mass shootings were not said to be hate crimes, but it’s sad that it happened on their eve of celebration.” McGoldrick said. 

Even despite these tragedies, people haven’t lost sight of what the New Year means and the celebration of new beginnings.

“Lunar New Year symbolizes joy, peace, and harmony. It’s a time to come together” Alway said.