Today is the first official day of Lunar New Year, more commonly known as Chinese New Year (although many other East Asian countries like Korea and historically Japan celebrate it too). As a Chinese/Taiwanese American, this is a very special holiday to me. I would even say that it means more to me than Christmas (especially since I’m an atheist). To celebrate, I want to take a look at a few characters that would probably celebrate this holiday too. So in no particular order…
Wait! But first, a very basic background on the holiday. The Lunar New Year follows the lunar calendar is thus refers to the new year according to the moon. That’s why it’s usually after the actual new year and not on January 1st. Each culture has its own variations of celebrations and traditions. I’m most familiar with how the Chinese celebrate it (for obvious reasons).
Here are some fast facts about Chinese New Year (because that’s the version I know). Chinese New Year is a fifteen day holiday. Many of the celebrations are the result of a Chinese myth that involve an evil “dragon”, some dumplings, and some firecrackers. Red is the most common color around this holiday as it symbolizes good luck. Red envelopes with money are also popular. The Chinese Zodiac (you know the one with the 12 different animals) comes into play during this time. (2016 is the year of the Monkey). Okay, now with the list…
Cho Chang from Harry Potter
Based on her name (which makes me roll my eyes), I would guess that Cho is of Korean descent – both Cho and Chang are Korean last names. That being said, she could be of Chinese descent too since Chang is also a Chinese surname. I would know. 😉 Either way, she probably would have celebrated Lunar New Year with her parents before she started attending Hogwarts. Because let’s face it, as great as Hogwarts is, it doesn’t appear to have a large population of East Asians and thus it probably would not celebrate Lunar New Year.
Cinder (and pretty much everyone else) from The Lunar Chronicles
Okay, I’ll admit that I didn’t actually read Cinder yet, but based on the synopsis, which mentions it takes place in New Beijing, I’m just going to take a guess and say they would celebrate Chinese New Year. Then again, it is set in the future…
Zu from The Darkest Minds
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Zu is of Chinese descent, so Lunar New Year is something she would have celebrated with her parents (and cousins and other extended family) before IAAN hit and the government forced the remaining kids into “rehabilitation” camps.
Yukiko from The Lotus War
Although the Japanese New Year no longer follows the lunar calendar (they celebrate it on January 1st now, I think), before 1873, they celebrated it when all the other East Asian countries did. I’m pretty sure Stormdancer and the rest of the books take place before that since they deal with a lot of Japanese mythology and traditions. Also, there’s a Shõgun in the books, and according to Wikipedia (aka the most reliable source ever) Japan stopped giving people the title of Shõgun after the Second World War (around 1868).
Lillia Cho from Burn for Burn
Juding by her last name, I’m going to guess that Lillia is of Korean descent and thus would have probably celebrated Korean New Year with her parents. From what I gather, Korean New Year is a three-day holiday. But then again, I am in no way, shape, or form an expert.
Lee Chase (and Molly) from Starbound
Jubilee Chase and Molly both have Chinese roots. They even speak a little of it during This Shattered World, so it’s reasonable to think they would celebrate Chinese Year New… but that’s assuming they know what it is since the series is set so far in the future, who knows.
Frank Zhang from The Heroes of Olympus
The rest of the characters on this list might have (or might not have) celebrated Lunar New Year, but Frank Zhang definitely has. With a grandmother like his, I would be extremely surprised if he didn’t celebrate Chinese New Year, even though he does have a Greek heritage.
Which characters did I forget?
Do you celebrate Lunar New Year?