New Yr celebrations in Bakersfield around the globe look completely different due to their eagerness
BAKERSFIELD, California – February 12th marks the start of the Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, which is celebrated for 15 days.
“It is wonderful that we have such a diverse community and among Asians we can celebrate this new beginning, the Lunar New Year. Let us continue as a community to embrace the different cultures,” said Gung Hei Fat Choy! Happy New Year, “said Mayor Karen Goh.
There were major festivals around the world before the pandemic, but this year it is celebrated differently for many Asian cultures.
Nina Ha, president of Bakersfield Chinese Women’s Club, says her club is not hosting an annual Chinese New Year banquet for the first time in decades.
“We usually have this massive Chinese New Year banquet. We have lion dancers, cultural musicians, and lots of really fun prizes. So what we miss is that this year we can’t celebrate it the way we used to.” And we’re a little sad, but hopeful, “said Ha.
2021 is the year of the ox, which is part of the Chinese zodiac and has existed in Chinese culture for nearly 2,000 years.
Fireworks, traditional lion dances and lots of red were usually seen during the celebrations. And this color is said to scare off a monster from ancient folklore.
Ha says they decided to cancel the banquet because of concerns about the pandemic.
On the flip side, however, the club has gathered to celebrate in virtual environments like Zoom and in unique ways like origami folds.
“Well, some people get decorations online. One thing our club has done in the past is make origami animals out of the zodiac. So instead of getting together this year. We sent out instructions on how to make them” he told Karen Polyniak, a member of the Bakersfield Chinese Women’s Club.
Ha says the celebrations are necessary as the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging year for everyone.
Asian Americans in particular, as many have felt racially targeted, “about the anti-Chinese and anti-Asian sentiment surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and its origins in Wuhan, China”.
Ha says this year can be a moment of growth for all Americans.
“There’s a lot going on in this world,” said Ha. “I think we’re really focusing on kindness, compassion and prosperity in the New Year.”
If you are celebrating the Lunar New Year at home and are looking for unique ways to celebrate, the Bakersfield Chinese Women’s Club shared some origami links at home. Check them out below!
Ox: https://www.facebook.com/BChineseWomen/photos/a.1487357324845989/2806298332951875 [facebook.com]
Rat: https://www.facebook.com/BChineseWomen/photos/a.1487357324845989/2474579999457045/ [facebook.com]
Dogs: https://www.facebook.com/BChineseWomen/photos/a.1487357324845989/1975627556018961/ [facebook.com]
Sheep: https://www.facebook.com/BChineseWomen/photos/a.1487357324845989/1546049595643428 [facebook.com]
Monkey: https://www.facebook.com/BChineseWomen/photos/a.1487357324845989/1654784428103277 [facebook.com]
Hahn: https://www.facebook.com/BChineseWomen/photos/a.1487357324845989/1802843773297341 [facebook.com]