Starchild: Anticipation builds among Malaysian children for the Year of the Dragon


Feivul Lee, 11

Chinese New Year (CNY) is just around the corner, and this year is extra special – it’s the Year of the Dragon!

CNY is a lively and joyful festival that marks the beginning of the lunar new year. This time, it falls on Feb 10.

In Chinese culture, each year is associated with an animal from the zodiac, and the dragon is considered powerful and lucky.

During CNY, families do many things to welcome good luck and happiness into their homes. They clean and decorate their houses, wear new clothes, and share delicious meals with loved ones. One tasty tradition is the reunion dinner, where families gather for a feast that includes special dishes like prawns and noodles, symbolising good luck and long life.

Red packets, also known as “ang pows,” are given during CNY. These little red envelopes contain money and are given by adults to children for good luck. It’s like receiving a surprise gift that brings happiness and blessings.

Lion and dragon dances are a big part of the celebration. The lion dance is performed to bring good luck and chase away evil spirits. Meanwhile, the dragon dance, with its colourful and long dragon figure, represents power, strength, and good fortune. Don’t be surprised if you see these amazing dances in your neighbourhood!

So, get ready to wear your brightest red clothes, enjoy delicious food, and join in the festive dances. Wishing everyone an exciting Year of the Dragon ahead!

Here are the letters from Starchild readers on the topic, Year of the Dragon.

Feivul Lee, 11, writes: “During CNY, people wear new clothes, enjoy special dinners with tasty dishes (like steamboat), visit family, and exchange greetings. In return, children receive red packets (ang pows) containing money. We also bring along ‘mandarin’ oranges, which represent good fortune and wealth.

Bethany Wang Qi Syuen, 9Bethany Wang Qi Syuen, 9"My parents have arranged for a lion dance to welcome prosperity not only to our home but also to our grandma’s. Dragon dances are common during Chinese New Year for power, strength, and luck.We’ll also have fireworks at our grandma’s place to invite good luck and warmly welcome the upcoming year. I wish everyone reading Starchild a Happy CNY!”

“I like the school holidays and the relaxed festive atmosphere that comes with every Lunar New Year. It’s the time to do spring cleaning, listen to CNY tunes, play firecrackers and also the season to meet relatives and friends that I don’t often meet,” says Bethany Wang Qi Syuen, nine.

Younger sibling Asher Wang Qi Chuen, six, finds Lunar New Year’s festive treats most appealing. “My favourite festive cookie is pineapple tarts in different shapes and sizes. I also like to receive ang pows. At home we turn our Christmas tree into a CNY tree with festive decorations.”

Asher Wang Qi Chuen, 6Asher Wang Qi Chuen, 6

“I enjoy celebrating CNY for the opportunity to receive numerous red money packets. Additionally, I delight in witnessing the vibrant lion dance performances. The dragon, a prominent symbol, is often portrayed chasing a ball, which symbolises the pursuit of the Pearl of Wisdom. On the eve of CNY, also known as New Year’s Eve, we will have a reunion dinner on a big table capable of accommodating a large number of people but also a variety of meaningful New Year dishes,” says Gilon Lee, eight.

Eight-year-old Christabel Chew can’t wait to welcome the Year of the Dragon next week.

Christabel Chew, 8Christabel Chew, 8“The Lunar New Year is celebrated for 15 days. We hang new lanterns from the ceiling. We wear new clothes. On Lunar New Year, girls or women wear cheongsams and boys wear traditional samfus. Wishing a Happy CNY to all The Star readers.”

“On CNY, I plan to celebrate in a unique way by making resolutions for the Year of the Dragon. Firstly, I aim to stand tall and avoid slouching, as maintaining good posture is essential to avoid looking shorter over time. Secondly, I aspire to improve my skills in football and enhance my speed, so my friends won’t playfully label me a ‘tortoise.’ After all, as the saying goes, ‘slow and steady always wins the race’. Additionally, I want to build strength to develop biceps, deterring anyone from bullying me. Staying hydrated by drinking more water is another goal. Lastly, I aim to be more hardworking and less careless in my exams,” says Chuah Seng Koon, eight.

Chuah Seng Koon, 8Chuah Seng Koon, 8

Eight-year-old Ch’ng Yan Bei is planning to work harder during the Year of the Dragon. “As the Lunar Chinese New Year is coming soon, I want to do more than just visit family, show respect, and get red packets. I’m going to challenge my best friend by working harder in school, playing fewer video games, becoming better at football, staying healthy, and more. My goal is to become the smartest boy in class.”

Lim Sheng Hao, 11Lim Sheng Hao, 11

“CNY is approaching. I can visit my grandparents and relatives. I can play fireworks during CNY. I remember there was once a firecracker exploded in my hand. However, that did not deter me from enjoying it,” says Lim Sheng Hao, 11.

“I will be celebrating CNY reunion dinner at my grandma’s house. I am looking forward to lots of good food. I can’t wait to meet my cousins too. Here’s wishing everyone a happy and prosperous Lunar New Year,” says Jayden Tan Li Sheng, 11.

Jayden Tan Li Sheng, 11Jayden Tan Li Sheng, 11

ITEM: We have a new king! Johor ruler, his Majesty Sultan Ibrahim is the new King of Malaysia. He took the oath of office as the 17th Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Wednesday for a five-year term. Tell him your dreams and hopes for Malaysia, and what you wish he’d do for the country. Send us your drawing and messages to His Majesty.

E-mail your contributions to lifestyle@thestar.com.my by Feb 16. Please put “STARCHILD: Dear Yang di-Pertuan Agong” in the subject line of your email.

Scanned drawings should be in jpeg format, with a resolution of 200 dpi. Your contributions must carry your full name, age (open to children aged 12 and below only), gender, phone contact, and address. Instead of handwritten letters, please type out your letters


Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!

Starchild , Year of the Dragon

   

Next In Family

Katz Tales: Rise of the executive fat cat
In-home euthanasia for pets provides comfort and dignity
Heart and Soul: A tribute to Dr Jayaraman Munusamy
After retirement, every ringgit counts
Something new, something old this Raya
StarSilver: What's the path to lasting joy?
How co-viewing content with kids can help parents bond with them
While most consumers order cookies for Hari Raya, some still bake their own
Wash your pet’s bowls to prevent salmonella
Medical university dean and cancer survivor wants to make difference in healthcare industry

Others Also Read