Happy Chinese New Year!

It’s the year of rat! The Chinese New Year was celebrated this week by the International Council, who hosted a dinner for the boarding students in Brown Hall on Wednesday evening. Brown Hall was decorated with paper lanterns and the menu included several traditional Chinese foods. Grade 12 boarding student Emily Zhan supplied all but two recipes for the dishes. Emily, along with a handful of students, also hand-made all of the dumplings served.

The Chinese New Year is the most important of the Chinese holidays and is a celebration of spring. It is also referred to as the Lunar New Year because the festival begins on the first day of the first lunar month in the Chinese calendar. The festival ends 15 days later with a lantern parade. This year, local celebrations will be more festive than ever, as Victoria’s Chinatown celebrates its 150th anniversary.

“New Year is so important because it gives us a new start, kind of like writing on a fresh piece of paper,” Emily explains. “We are given a new chance to meet goals. It’s a time to celebrate with family and elaborate meals.”

According to the Chinese calendar, the rodent is the first of the Chinese zodiac signs. People born in the year of the rat (1960, 1972, 1984, 1996 and 2008) tend to be leaders. They are passionate, charismatic, practical, hardworking, highly organized, intelligent and thrifty with money. Traditionally, Rats should avoid Horses, but they can usually form their strongest relationships with Monkeys, Dragons and Oxen. Rats tend to work in professions such as psychology, writing, politics, law, engineering, accounting, detective work, acting, and pathology.

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