By Melissa Beneke
The United States is home to over 10 million Asian-Americans, many of whom will begin celebrations for the Chinese New Year this weekend.
According to the United States Census of 2010, 4.8% of Americans are classified as Asian. Since 2000, this number has increased by 43%.
With a growing population, this is a great opportunity for AU students to learn more about another culture.
The Chinese New Year starts Monday, Jan. 23. This holiday is the most important holiday in the Chinese culture. It signifies the start of a new and healthy year.
Each New Year is distinguished by an animal name. This year is the Year of the Dragon. Someone born within this year will have the Chinese Zodiac of a Dragon.
Students looking to celebrate the New Year in a different way can look into the following options.
- Argyle Street Chinese New Year Parade – A celebration of the Chinese New Year with dragon dances, lion dances, elaborate floats, martial arts teams and a marching Band. This event takes place at 1pm on Jan. 28, 2012 in Chicago, Ill. The parade will start at Argyle and Sheridan, then Sheridan to Lawrence to Broadway and come back to Argyle. Admission is free. Just take the train to Chicago or drive and enjoy the parade.
- Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown- Check out Chinatown and see the parade all in one. Chinatown’s parade consists of marching bands, floats, lion teams and much more. Festivities start at11:30 a.m. on Jan. 29, 2012 and the parade officially begins at 1 p.m. The location is Chinatown on 24th St. & Wentworth Ave. Admission is free.
- Go to Chinatown and spend a day there. Eat some good food, visit the shops and try some bubble tea.
- Check out a Chinese restaurant and make your own celebration. There are plenty of options and you do not have to go to Chicago to find some good choices. From Aurora to Naperville there are many good Chinese places.
The Chinese New Year is a good time to try something new for any AU student.