Celebrating New Years, the Year of the Tiger

Louise Oleson, Editor
The Jia family, from left, Jason, his mother Kelly, and father, Paul, with their friends, Kay and John Gravdahl from Warwick. Not pictured, Jason’s sister, Jean.

Saturday is a very special day for some Devils Lake residents as it marks the Chinese New Year, the beginning of the Year of the Tiger.

Families, like Paul and Kelly Jia’s of Devils Lake, will gather for a party and special meal to commemorate the occasion.

The Jia family own and operate the First Buffet House Restaurant in downtown Devils Lake. They are originally from China but are U.S. citizens.

It is the most important traditional festival which symbolizes union and new hope for the future. All the Jia family will make sure to be home in Devils Lake on Saturday for the celebration.

 The Lunar New Year is celebrated primarily by people of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tibetan, and Mongolian heritage in many parts of the world. Parades, parties, and other special events are common.

The tiger is one of the 12 symbols of the Chinese zodiac - all animal symbols. The 12 animals that appear on the Chinese Zodiac calendar include a rat, buffalo (ox), tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. It is believed the year you were born determines characteristics of your personality.

Born in the Year of the Tiger:

People born in the year of a particular animal are said to share characteristics with that animal. Individuals born during the Year of the Tiger are said to be courageous and to possess hidden reserves of strength. They are also thought of as candid yet mysterious. Famous people born in the Year of the Tiger include Marilyn Monroe, Stevie Wonder and Tom Cruise.

The Jia family will be having a special meal with family and a few selected friends for their New Year’s celebration. Gifts for the children will be special red envelopes and will contain a token gift of money. Special decorations are also part of the celebration of the New Year. Paul promises to cook a meal of authentic Chinese food, which he says is quite different from the American Chinese menu served at their restaurant.