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A journey through the history of Chinese New Year

Maria Wortman ’24

The holiday is based around the circle of 12 animals used to measure years, known as the shengxiao.

According to the Chinese New Year Network, the holiday lasts 16 days and consists of many different zodiac signs every year.

“The Chinese zodiac, or shengxiao, refers to the circle of 12 animals that measure the cycles of time,” the Chinese New Year Network said. “Signs or animals are determined by the lunar year in which you were born, and legend has it that a god beckoned all animals to bid him farewell before his departure from Earth.”

With excitement and enthusiasm many have for the Chinese New Year, there are also some do’s and don’ts that people have to follow. There are over 10 rules that must be followed to not gain any bad luck. The most important one is to not say negative words with any demeaning subject. Words like, death, sick, empty, pain, ghost, poor, break, kill and more. Another rule as stated by Britannica, is do not break ceramics or glass.

“Breaking things will break your connection to prosperity and fortune,” Britannica said. “If a plate or bowl is dropped, immediately wrap it with red paper while murmuring auspicious phrases.”

If an object is broken, the person must plead for forgiveness from the gods by saying, “Suì suì píng ān,” which asks for peace and security every year. With rules comes appropriate dressing that is consistently traditional. As explained by BBC, there actually aren’t any special requirements as to what kind of new clothing.

“In ancient China, people would follow the fashion trends of that time, and there’s nothing wrong with you doing the same as well,” BBC said. “But if you want to have more of a traditional flare, there are some styles you can choose from, like more traditional-wear still popular today from the Qing dynasty.”

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About the Contributors
Sara Dimitrijevic '25
Sara Dimitrijevic '25, Staff Writer
First year staffer Sara Dimitrijevic ’25 is excited to be writing for The Tower this year. Dimitrijevic is thrilled to be able to write about exciting topics that interest her. Her passion for writing will carry on this year as she wants to be able to share her opinions and beliefs about ongoing topics.“I’m really excited to express my thoughts and feelings about the stories I write this year,” Dimitrijevic said. Outside of school Dimitrijevic loves to ski and play tennis in her free time. She also has a hidden talent that many of her friends don’t know about- playing the piano.
Maria Wortman ’24
Maria Wortman ’24, Supervising Copy Editor
Maria Wortman ’24 is a second year staffer and a supervising copy editor for The Tower. Outside of Tower, Wortman said she enjoys reading, traveling and urges people to join the newly-founded Club Latino. She is excited for the possibilities The Tower offers her this year and looks forward to a great year.“I love how free we are in Tower to really write the work we want to produce,” Wortman said. “Obviously, there are still expectations (for all) of us, but we can still choose to approach stories from an independent angle which allows us to grow as writers.”Also in her freetime, she enjoys playing guitar. “I enjoy playing the guitar in my free time,” Wortman said. “I love playing for people, although I am not great.”

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