How Lowellites are celebrating Lunar New Year

On Monday, Jan. 23, SFUSD schools closed for Lunar New Year, creating a three-day weekend for students to celebrate the holiday. The Lunar New Year celebrates the beginning of the new year on the lunisolar calendar. It is celebrated by several Asian countries, including China, South Korea, and Vietnam. Officially, the holiday was on Sunday, Jan. 22, launching the Year of The Rabbit.

For junior Hannah Choi, Lunar New Year celebrations revolve around spending time with family. “My family and I plan on golfing and just spending time together,” Choi said. “Usually my mom will take us to Chinatown to go watch the Lunar New Year parade together, and my sister and I will clean the house to prepare for the new year.”

There are even specific dishes that are meant to be eaten during this time of year to celebrate, one of them being a soup with rice cakes called Tteokguk. For junior Won Kim, his mom makes the dish for his family. ‘’If you eat the soup it means you aged one more year, because in Korea they don’t count your birthday, but instead the year you were born,” Kim said. “So, everyone basically becomes one year older on the same day together.”

Both Kim and Choi are in Lowell’s Korean class, which celebrated the new year on Friday with Korean festivities and clothing. “We played this game called Tuho, it was pretty fun,” Kim said. “There’s this bucket and you try to throw arrows into it, whoever makes the most wins.” Some students also wore Hanbok, or traditional Korean attire consisting of colorful garments. 

Overall, some students demonstrate appreciation for the time off during Lunar New Year. “The New Year really allows time for my family and I to spend time together and bond over our culture and traditions that have been going on for centuries,” Choi said.