Although the ball drops at midnight on December 31, New Year’s occurs at different times for different cultures. Within the Pinewood community, many students mark this special day with diverse traditions. Two very prominent New Year’s celebrations are Chinese and Persian New Year.
Persian New Year, also known as Norooz, occurs on the first day of spring. During this time, families set up a ceremonial table called the haft-sinn. On this table, they place seven symbolic dishes and objects that start with the Persian letter sinn. Other objects like a goldfish, mirror, colored-eggs, and grass are also necessary.
Freshman Caley Vahedi celebrates Persian New Year with her family, and has one unique tradition that they celebrate every year along with all of their
other regular festivities.
“Each year my family and I go to a giant picnic, because it is bad luck to stay indoors on Persian New Year, and we throw the grass that we grew into the river,” Vahedi said.
Like Vahedi, many other Pinewood students enjoy commemorating the New Year with a variety of traditions. For Chinese New Year, many families enjoy spending quality time with one another while watching television and eating traditional foods.
Freshman Lucy Zhao spends her evening watching a special Chinese show that occurs every Chinese New Year with her family. She also eats sticky rice balls, chicken, and vegetables for dinner with her family. Everyone stays awake until the clock strikes midnight and they end the night with fireworks to commemorate the beginning of a new year.
Sophomore Kevin Duan also enjoys celebrating Chinese New Year with his family, although his traditions differ slightly from Zhao’s.
“Chinese New Year involves a lot of red decorations around our house and we eat Chinese food for dinner,” Duan said.
Many people also form New Year’s resolutions during this time as they aspire to achieve certain goals by the end of the next year. Reflecting on the past is a key ingredient to a successful and bright future.
Regardless of the method by which the New Year is celebrated, it is a time when families come together to reflect on the past year and hope for the future. Every family has their own distinct procedure for remembering this special day and it is a time when people can embrace their culture by following past traditions.