Eight Things to Know About Mass Greeting

猪年团拜及迎春大会 Mass Greeting and Spring Welcome

Chinese Program Director Kevin Chang shares details about CAIS’s Chinese New Year celebration.

Mass Greeting 20191. Chinese New Year is also called Spring Festival (Chun Jie) in Chinese tradition. It means the first day of the lunar calendar that cycles through 12 signs of the Chinese Zodiac. This coming year will be the Year of the Rat, which begins on Saturday, January 25, 2020.

2. The purpose of Mass Greeting, one of the biggest annual events at CAIS, is to celebrate the Chinese New Year and embrace Chinese culture with CAIS community members. The majority of Mass Greeting performances are designed and planned by Chinese classroom teachers with Chinese New Year as the main theme.

3. Mass Greeting is usually scheduled during the period of Chinese New Year Celebration, which for CAIS starts a week prior to the New Year and ends on the Lantern Festival. The 2020 Mass Greeting is scheduled on Friday, January 24 in the gym. The program will start at 9:30 a.m. and will end around 11:15 a.m. (tentative). 

4. The most important element of the Mass Greeting is “Greeting with Auspicious Words,” a welcome in which students, faculty, staff, parents and grandparents take the opportunity to wish each other a wonderful new year.

5. Hongbao — the red envelope is a must-have tradition during Chinese New Year. The younger generation receives Hongbao with good luck money from the elders or seniors as a gesture of well wishes for the new year.  

6. Dress code: traditional Chinese style outfits and clothes in red are the most popular. Other brightly colored outfits are also welcome.  Traditionally, white clothing is not worn during Chinese New Year because in Chinese culture, the color white is associated with funerals.  Therefore, it is strongly recommended that white clothes should be avoided during the Mass Greeting.

7. There will be a lion dance and symbolic firecrackers (plastic bubble wrap is used to create sound resembling that of firecrackers).

8. The celebration period of Chinese New Year ends with the Lantern Festival (Yuan Xiao Jie) on the 15th day of the lunar year, which will be Saturday, February 8, 2020.