Many of our students just celebrated Chinese New Year with their host families, and we wanted to join everyone in wishing our students and their families a very Happy New Year! We like to remind all of our families, no matter where their students are from, the importance of recognizing their exchange student’s holiday and celebrating with him or her. Imagine being in a foreign country at Christmas…but no one is celebrating! It is a comfort and a true sign of cultural welcome to do something, even it is small, with your exchange student. Here are some ways you can traditionally celebrate Chinese New Year every year:
Just like Christmas or Thanksgiving here in the United States, families in China celebrate the New Year by having a reunion dinner. It’s a time to give thanks for family, come together to celebrate the year that has passed, and look forward to a prosperous New Year! It’s traditional to sit at round tables all together.
Decorating: It’s a time of year for decorating buildings, houses, and businesses! It’s also a fun way of incorporating the new zodiac symbol for the year, so this year, many families welcomed the year of the rooster by including roosters in their decoration. Red decorations are the most commonly seen, with hints of gold or yellow!
Activities all around: Every area of China will hold different festivities, from dragon dances to fireworks! Firecrackers are a way to say good bye to the old year…and hello to the new!
Lucky Foods: There are foods you can eat to help you receive good luck in the new year. Fish is a must in everyone Chinese New Year celebration – in Chinese, the word for fish sounds very similar to the word for surplus! Other “lucky” foods include dumplings, spring rolls, and rice cakes.
With the combination of a little bit of luck, tradition, and celebrations with your family, we think all of our students, whether they are Chinese, Spanish, or Brazilian, will have an amazing year ahead!
Find out more about how YOUR family can celebrate next year with an exchange student by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org!