By  Nadja Arifovic

Chinese New Year is one of the most important celebrations in the Chinese calendar and is celebrated by millions worldwide. The New Year celebration lasts for 15 days and is ended with a bang by something known as the Lantern Festival. Each year is associated with one of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac — for 2013, the Year of the Snake is welcomed. The New Year began on February 10th this year.

Traditions during the Chinese New Year vary, but large celebrations seem to be common among Andover High families. When asked about special traditions to ring in the New Year, senior Casey Zhang said that, “[You] get money and you’re supposed to sleep on it. My parents and my grandma put money in a red envelope and put it under my pillow.”

Seniors Jonathan Yeh and Rosanna Wang gave more cases of general traditions. Jonathan says “lion and dragon dances [are popular] in welcoming the New Year” and Rosanna explains that “you wear red. [Red is lucky]”. Jonathan also added that “if you’re in the right area, you light firecrackers.”

As during any holiday, food is a big part during the Chinese New Year. “You eat food with your family,” Rosanna commented. Jonathan noted that, “You’re supposed to eat fish because you get a long, prosperous life, and dumplings for gold coins.”

They also said that if you go to China the celebration will be a lot louder and more impressive.

Chinese New Year is very festive and holds a history of traditions behind it, and if one gets the chance, visiting China during the New Year is sure to be a treat!