Those who celebrate Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year in Wellesley may do so at home with family and friends, but also have at least 1 public opportunity.
The holiday begins on Sunday, Feb. 10 this year, and is recognized on the Wellesley Public School calendar. Next year, Lunar New Year will be an official day off for students and staff.
Separately, the Wellesley Chinese Language School is prepping for its annual New Year Gala on Feb. 10 at Regis College’s Fine Arts Center in Weston.
I asked Wellesley Chinese Language School’s Dr. Haihong Li about referring to the holiday as Chinese New Year of Lunar New Year, and she said: “As Chinese Americans, we are open to referring to the holidays as either Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year. Actually, even in China, it is called Lunar New Year. Here in the US, I think it might be proper to call the holiday Lunar New Year since people of Korean- or Japanese- or other East Asian- descendant also celebrate the holidays.”
I also did the rounds at a few Wellesley shops to ask about whether they carry Chinese or Lunar New Year merchandise. Wellesley Toy Shop has some dragons in stock. Paper Source in Wellesley Square gets a small but steady demand for Lunar New Year cards as early as the first week of January. Sometimes Paper Source gets New Year’s candy samplers from Sugarfina, but unfortunately didn’t this time around. At Wellesley Books, Store Manager Peter Sherman points to a display of children’s books: “This year’s is on a prominent endcap in that section of the store. My sense is that demand has grown gradually over the years as interest in books for children about different cultures has grown across the board.”
Nearby, Paper Fiesta in Natick has a nice variety of Chinese and Lunar New Year decorations and other items.
I hadn’t thought to check with the local grocery stores, but reader Billy T. shared a photo from a Whole Foods display of succulents, such as jade plants, that are popular Chinese New Year gifts.
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