Celebrating Lunar New Year with Students from the GRCHS International Student Program
God has created times that are set apart, understanding that people needed to come together. God made time for us to gather in celebration. In the old and new testament, festivals were when whole communities gathered to share customs, eat, create memories, recognize the past and establish a legacy for future generations. Jesus wants us to celebrate from a place of complete joy and confidence in who we are in Him.
Today we celebrate Lunar New Year with our Asian brothers and sisters in all corners of the world. He is before all things, and in Him, all things hold together.
What Does Lunar New Year Look Like In Your Country?
Lunar New Year in Vietnam is usually a really big holiday, and we mostly go back to our hometowns to visit our relatives and ancestors. The streets are decorated with flowers, usually a yellow apricot tree; this is a traditional flower from the south in Vietnam. We would wear our traditional dress and go hang around and take pictures.
Chinese New Year is a big deal in China. It’s as important as Christmas in America! It’s a day that people always like get together. Families from all over the place get together and share meals together. It's also important for kids because they can get new clothes too well. Every house will put the red decorations.
YISU (South Korea)
We usually visit our grandparents’ house, and we meet all the family members, and we cook and eat together. We have a special soup that we eat. It’s a sticky rice cake with meat and eggs, and traditionally everyone eats it — it’s really good. We just spend family time together; it’s like Thanksgiving!
Are There Any Traditional Foods That You Eat Together?
Yes, dumplings are necessary. I think that almost every family will eat dumplings and make the dumplings together.
We have a special dish called banh chung — it would be a cake, but it's not actually a cake.
Are There Any Traditional Specific to Your Family?
On the first day of the New Year, when you wake up the first thing that your parents give you is a candy. It means that your parents hope the New Year is as sweet as the candy.
Every New Year, they say that the first person to come to your house will be the one that brings luck to the family. So if it's New Year, everybody needs to go out of the house. So the first person to come into the house of any household will be the one that brings luck to that family,
YISU (South Korea)
We usually play games, Chinese Chess or Go.
What Does Lunar New year Mean To You?
I think it can bring up good memories for me, especially when studying abroad and not being able to celebrate the Ne year at home for three years. Just thinking about how my family shares love and happiness together, that’s a really good memory for me.
For me, Lunar New Year is when I come back to visit my grandparents or my family. We get together and talk and have fun, and I will get spoiled by my grandparents. I remember the times I would see them, and at this time of the year, I just really want to see them again.
YISU (South Korea)
I think remembering that time I would spend with my family, and taking a break from my schoolwork and all the noise from the city because my grandparents live out in the countryside.
We pray for people who are away from home and unable to celebrate this New year with their families. I pray that you comfort their hearts when they miss their family and friends, and we also thank you for the technologies you gave us that enable people to connect across the world. We pray for a new beginning for all of us in this new coming year.