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Celebration of the Chinese New Year

            The celebration of Chinese New Year has served various roles in America it helped to preserve Chinese heritage, it introduced Americans to their culture all while being morphed by new ideas and gave women the opportunity to be the ambassadors to their culture. The Chinese New Year is the result of ingenuity and an effort create a comprehensive calendar that appealed to everyone. Chinese New Year dates back to the Han dynasty in china (Pleck, 2000).It is a family tradition and a way to honor their ancestors and to ask the heavens for good fortune. Turmoil and economic instability drove my Chinese to leave home, while the promise of a better life pushed them to America. In 1849, the first Chinese men arrived in America, alone, alienated and in the effort to stay true to their roots they formed tight communities and celebrated the holidays from home (Cassel, 2002). Among those holidays was the Chinese New Year, every year the streets of China town turned red and bachelors came together to remember their home. While this celebration was meant to be celebrated with joy, the first settlers found themselves longing for their wives and children back in China (Pleck, 2000). Once the first Chinese Women arrived to America the celebration once again took a happy tone. Women's involvement in this tradition also changed, in china while they did partake in the celebration their effort were mostly concentrated in the preparation of the holiday. In America Chinese women were given a more active role, various activities as a beauty pageant were held during the New Year celebration, in an effort to portrait Chinese culture as docile and non-threating to Americans. (Yeh, 2004). The tradition was mostly accepted by Americans as it was centered around family, and its colorful displays attracted the masses. Soon it became a way for Chinese to honor their heritage and introduce Americans to the Chinese culture (Stavans, 2009).

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