COVID-19 Brings New Celebrations for Lunar New Year

by: Sabrina Lee

Lunar New Year is one of the largest holidays celebrated in Asian cultures. It is the celebration of a new lunar cycle and is normally spent eating lots of delicious food and spending quality time with family.

This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, many students were unable to travel home to spend the holiday with their families. Sabrina Tran is one of those students.

“I did highly consider going home this year. I’m pretty homesick, and Chinese New Year is the day of the year to be around family,” said Tran.

Tran said that despite much of her extended family living in close proximity to one another, they did not get together on the holiday to celebrate as they usually would due to the pandemic.

This is the case for many families around the world, who have been unable to spend the holiday with their loved ones. Despite the difficulties that the pandemic has created around the holiday, Tran made the best of the situation.

“I had some friends over to celebrate. I figured if I couldn’t be home, why not bring home here? Plus, the friends I invited had never celebrated a Lunar New Year before, and I was excited to show them parts of my life,” said Tran.

Tran made her friends traditional Chinese dishes such as dumplings, turnip cake, and noodles. Noodles are a dish that is eaten during the holiday to welcome the new year. The noodles symbolize longevity and you’re meant to eat them to ensure one lives a long life. Tran says fish, which symbolizes luck, is also served in her home.

Despite being away from her family, Tran feels that this particular Lunar New Year was special, and that while the pandemic has impacted the way the holiday is celebrated, it has helped her appreciate the occasion even more.

“At the end of the day, I was just glad to be surrounded by people I love and would certainly call my family away from home.
It’s [Lunar New Year] about appreciation and love and understanding that we are all going through this pandemic and we might be struggling, but we are all doing it together,” said Tran.

This year’s lunar new year welcomed the year of the ox, during which it is said that hard work will be met with even higher rewards.