Tag Archives: Chinese New Year

Celebrating Chinese Lunar New Year

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By minhsuanchen

    Chinese New Year is the most important event to Chinese people in a year. It is not merely a holiday, but the precious moment to have a reunion with all the family members and relatives that live far away. During this period, we have different traditions and events to celebrate every day. For example, on New Year’s Eve, especially at night, we sit in a round table and eat together. Later, we watch TV or play games and then all the family members will start to distribute red envelopes to each other. This is the most exciting day for kids because they do not need to distribute their red envelopes, but keep receiving them from the elderly family members. On the first day of the Chinese New Year, according to traditions, we will go to temples in the early morning to pray for good health and luck in the following year. On the second day of the Chinese New Year, those women who got married must return their hometowns to visit their parents. In short, this is both an interesting and busy period for us. This year, for the first time in my life, I cannot celebrate Chinese New Year with my dear family. It is a pity on one hand, but on the other hand, I have the opportunity to participate in different activities in D.C to experience how Chinese people here celebrate their Chinese New Year.

     There are a series of special events to celebrate Chinese New Year this week. After searching for information online, my friends and I planned to go to Kennedy center to enjoy traditional Chinese music performance, cook and have a nice dinner together, and watch the New Year Parade at Chinatown.

    The Kennedy Center is a nice place for all kinds of performances. Some of the performances require tickets, but some do not. The one we participated in on Friday, which was one of the special events for Lunar New Year Celebration, was free. We got immersed in the music banquet with the beautiful melodies played by traditional instruments like guzheng, flute, pipa, and so on. For those who are interested in the free performance held every day at six o’clock p.m., I recommend you to go earlier in case you cannot find a seat.

    On Saturday morning, I went to supermarket with my friends to buy all the ingredients we would need to cook for our dinner. At night, we had hot pot, salmon fried rice, curry chicken, tofu, salad, and we drank beer to celebrate Chinese New Year. Although I cannot eat with my family, the friends I meet here are just like my family and I had an adorable night with them.

    On Sunday, we went to Chinatown to watch the annual Chinese New Year parade. We got there a little bit late, so the street had already been crowded with people when we arrived. Thankfully, we could still find some space in between. During the parade, we saw a lot of national flags of Taiwan, so we were extremely excited. It felt like D.C was our second hometown! The parade was gorgeous, for all the people in the parade dressed so beautifully and the performances were all unique. It was my pleasure to participate in this celebration and I was really glad to see that so many native speakers came to know more about Chinese culture. This parade put a perfect ending to my celebration trip for Chinese New Year. I believe that every single event that I have enjoyed this week would become one of the most memorable memories in my life. Anyway, Happy New Year and may everyone keep healthy and happy in the year of dog!!!

 

 

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Another Week, Another Protest

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By sophieheard

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Based on my experiences of the past two weeks I get the impression that a protest is going to be part of my weekly routine. Ten days into the new administration, Trump has already taken action to repeal Obamacare, withdrawn from the TPP, reinstated the Mexico City policy, reopened the Keystone XL and Dakota Pipeline construction projects, proposed plans to build the wall, and denied entry to refugees and citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries. In response to the decisions made this week, protests have erupted across the country and across the globe. It is exciting to live in the city that makes these decisions and watch how the people react so quickly against them. On Friday, Trump implemented the ‘Muslim ban’. By Sunday, thousands had gathered outside the White House in protest.

 

 

 

I attended the protest both in support and observation. Unlike the Women’s March, the protest was spontaneous with so little time to garner support or numbers. Not expecting a huge turnout and living so close to the White House I left shortly before the event. When I arrived, people were beginning to gather around the Marquis de Lafayette Statue. As time passed, people filled up the Square to the point where we were standing shoulder to shoulder and I was unable to see beyond the sign in front of me. Even without anyone choreographing the protest, the crowd began to chant ‘no hate, no fear, refugees are welcome here’, ‘hey hey, ho ho, the Muslim ban has got to go’, and my personal favourite ‘hands too small to build the wall’.

 

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An hour later and ten blocks away, there was a completely different kind of gathering. I left the protest to head over to Chinatown to check out the Chinese New Year parade. Hundreds of Taiwanese flags went hand in hand with the Stars and Stripes. Instead of protesting against divisive policies people were celebrating cultural diversity and unity. For me, the protest and the parade embody what is great about American culture.

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Prior to the inauguration, people were willing to give Trump the benefit of the doubt as he had not yet had the opportunity to do anything of serious measure. One week in and people are beginning to have a different opinion. Trump has followed through on his promises and done exactly what he said he would do. It’s scary to think that this is only the beginning. However, based on the response he has so far received I wonder how far he will be able to go. Sunday’s experience proves that with every action he takes there will be an even greater reaction.

Sleepless in Seattle

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By audrey

While DC has been loads of fun, with the excitement of inauguration and protest marches still lingering in the air, I decided to make use of my long weekend to travel to Seattle for the Lunar New Year.

This would be my fourth time here, and yet it never ceases to amaze. Seattle is a seaport city and is the largest city in Washington state. People often get confused between Washington DC and Washington state — the former, also the nation’s capital, is on the east coast while the latter is in the west. Upon exiting SeaTac International Airport, I was greeted by a rush of crisp, fresh air and the omnipresent rainy weather. Definitely Seattle, alright.

It’s unexpected, but my favourite part of Seattle has got to be food. I religiously go to Pike Place market, a public market that overlooks the Elliott Bay waterfront. It is one of the oldest farmers’ markets in America and you can always expect to find ultra fresh groceries and handmade crafts. My favorite shops would have to be the Piroshky Bakery and Ellenos yoghurt – 2 homegrown brands that are simply phenomenal in taste and price. For the former, I usually go for the salmon one, and the Marionberry flavoured yoghurt for the latter. Oh, and the market is also home to the very first Starbucks! (Heads up though, there’s always a long line, even during off-peak hours).

 

 

It was Chinese New Year’s Eve the day after I arrived. On this day, families get together to have a reunion dinner. Being the typical Chinese and lazy college students that we are, my friends and I decided to have hotpot, which is basically a huge pot of soup with raw stuff like fish cakes and meat thrown in and cooked to a boil. The post dinner food coma was just magnificent.

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On my last day, we drove 3 hours to Mount Baker. Alas, the picturesque view was short-lived as a snow storm hit soon after we started hiking. Thus, we didn’t have a good picture of the summit. We were, however, lucky to be able to rent snow shoes on short notice as it was a popular weekend destination for the residents of Seattle, with its dual identity as a popular ski and hiking resort in the region. I honestly thought my ears/nose would fall off due to the biting wind, but thankfully, they were still intact when we trekked back to the car. Note to self: DEFINITELY BRING A BEANIE NEXT TIME.

 

Catching a flight back to DC tomorrow – in light of the recent immigration bans, I do hope my boarding process at SeaTac goes smoothly.

Adios!