February Frivolities and Festivals
January 13, 2011
Chinese New Year is an interesting holiday. Being Scots-Irish, I didn’t celebrate it growing up, but I have since developed a fondness for it. It occurs in February, fifteen days after the first new moon of the New Year. This year, it falls on February 3rd, which is a Thursday.
I became interested in Chinese New Year when I got more involved in the online community. As I’m sure you’re aware, the online community is amazingly varied. I now know folks from Australia, Indonesia, persons all across the United States, servicemen and women serving in bases worldwide, and many others. With the wide variety of people interacting, local holidays can become international events. In America, we have had a taste of this for some time due to our melting pot of immigrants and cultures.
For me, Chinese New Year feels more like a beginning than January 1st. Our New Year falls right at the end of the Christmas season, and many years. We still have a lot on our plate. We can take a breather during January, and by February, we are ready to celebrate a brand new year.
Chinese New Year began as a springtime celebration, and in China, the celebrations can last up to fifteen days. The planning takes many months, and can readily be compared to America’s Christmas rush. During the celebration, gifts are given, fireworks are set off, parades march, and people are dressed in their finest. While you look forward to the New Year, it is a good time to reflect on your past and where you have come from. Similar to Mexico’s Days of the Dead, Chinese New Year is a time to honor your ancestors and relatives that have passed.
Online, of course, is a great place to find information about the celebration. Using a search engine brought me to here, which had a great deal of information. The library has Chase’s Calendar of Events which has lists upon lists of anniversaries, dates to be remembered, celebrations and observances. A simple catalog search pulls up 97 titles about the celebration.
However you choose to celebrate the New Year, remember that the library is a great place to learn about new places, cultures and holidays.