4699 comes for NIU’s Chinese

By Linda Luk

NIU students had to celebrate the Lunar New Year, commonly known as the Chinese New Year, away from home Wednesday.

Wednesday was the first day of the Chinese New Year, which usually falls in late January or mid-February. It marks the beginning of year 4699, and the year of the snake in the Chinese Zodiac.

“It’s tough being away from home,” said Hsueh Wayne, a freshman computer science major. “You don’t get as much money, there is no good Chinese food and I can’t spend time with my family.”

As part of the New Year’s tradition, children or unmarried people usually receive “Lai Si,” or red pockets with money inside, from elders or married people. The gift of money symbolizes a wish of good fortune and wealth for the upcoming year. Even away from day’s traditions.

“I cleaned up Tuesday night before midnight because we are not supposed to clean for the next three days,” said sophomore accounting major Loan Kim. “If we cleaned, it symbolizes sweeping away money and luck for the coming year.”

The Chinese Student and Scholar Association had a New Year’s celebration over the weekend. Because NIU plans no major celebration for Chinese New Year, students spent the day studying or with friends.

“I plan to study over New Year’s,” said junior fiance major Sum Lau.