Students celebrate New Year’s Day in various different ways. Some do it according to their own traditions, while others switch it up.
Freshman Merari Flores said that with her family, it is different. They make food different from others considering they are El Salvadorian. They make and eat foods such as tamales and ethnic Salvadorian foods.
She explained there is a tradition within her family where they buy new clothes consisting of different colors including yellow, red or white. Yellow will give you money, white gives prosperity and peace and red would be love.
COVID affected what Flores was planning to do this year. Her family members got to spend time with each other, but because she had COVID, she had to stay home in her room.
Freshman Bertha Jean Louis reflected, “New Year for us isn’t as different as the way other people celebrate New Year. I’m Haitian and people I know celebrate New Year by making Haitian soup joumou and throwing parties where they have barbecues. Some also spend this day in church with families.”
Freshman Amber Benfield celebrates New Year by choosing either her own house with her parents or her grandparents’ house. Together, they watch the ball drop on the TV, playing music, talking and hanging out together.
They make a traditional Guyanese food called cookup, a rice dish with beans and chicken, beef, goat, ham, turkey, etc.
COVID also affected the way Amber celebrated New Year because she, her sister and mom all got COVID. They couldn’t celebrate New Year this time with other relatives and go to another house and have that celebration. They had to be quarantined and each watched the ball drop from their own room.
Juliana Rosa, a freshman, celebrated New Year’s at home since her sister had gotten COVID. This year she ate lentils because Brazilians say lentils will bring you good luck. When she used to live in Brazil, every New Year she would go to the beach wearing white and watch the fireworks with her family. Wearing white is supposed to bring you peace and harmony and sometimes she’d wear yellow too because it brings you money and luck. In the past years, she would jump seven waves for good luck.
Freshman Helen Xie celebrates Lunar New Year. She said she ate hot pot and got red envelopes. Xie said people who are usually married or have jobs hand them out to each other and kids which symbolizes luck, fortune, and wishing well in general. Since red is seen as a lucky color, the money is inside of a red envelope.
Just at Malden High School, there are so many unique traditions and ways that students and their families celebrate the New Year. Whether a reflection of their culture’s traditions, or a modern-day spin on them, New Year’s Day represents a hopeful outlook for the coming months.