Lunar New Year holds a special place in the hearts of many people around the world.  

Leo Tan, a UTC international student from the Shandong province in China, has celebrated this holiday throughout his life. We wanted to get a first-hand perspective of this long-standing tradition, so we asked him to give his account of this annual celebration. Here is his personal reflection of what it’s like celebrating the Chinese New Year and how this holiday has changed for him throughout the years. [Leo’s perspective is unique to his personal experiences and doesn’t represent every country or region’s way of celebrating the Lunar New Year.] 

What are your favorite memories and traditions with this holiday?

The best part of the Chinese Lunar New Year is to set off fireworks and firecrackers. I can still remember years ago when my dad spent hundreds of Chinese Yuan on a single piece of firework, and I thought he was crazy. Due to the anti-pollution law, only a small portion of people still follow this tradition. I wish people can still be able to set off fireworks during the Spring Festival. My best memory of the Spring Festival is that I received a set of toys from my uncle-in-law when I was four. Kids usually don’t receive any gifts during the Lunar New Year except for cash. 

How has this holiday changed from when you were young to how it is celebrated now?

Before smartphones became popular, we always went back to my grandparents’ house and sat around the table every Lunar New Year, having dumplings and watching the Spring Festival special night show. Nowadays, people don’t give much attention to all the traditions; they focus on their cellphones instead of their families.

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