News and culture through the lens of Southern California.
Hosted by A Martínez
Airs Weekdays 2 to 3 p.m.

The evolving traditions of Chinese New Year in the US




Performers display a dragon dance during a Chinese New Year parade in Hong Kong on January 31, 2014. Chinese communities across Asia have come together to usher in the Year of the Horse.
Performers display a dragon dance during a Chinese New Year parade in Hong Kong on January 31, 2014. Chinese communities across Asia have come together to usher in the Year of the Horse.
PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images

Listen to story

09:31
Download this story 22MB

It's the Lunar New Year, and here in Southern California, there are lots ways to celebrate. If you want to go to your local parade and see the fireworks, you're pretty well covered.

But if you're a young Asian American and you don't have immediate connections with any family members, it can be difficult to celebrate the traditions that make the holiday famous in China.

Many children of Chinese immigrants came to the United States at a very young age, and they say their traditions for Lunar New Year are still evolving. 

Take Two's A Martinez spoke with two young Asian-Americans -- Joz Wang, CEO of the culture site 8Asians.com and Tom Xia, a filmmaker based in Arcadia, to find out how their traditions are changing.

On Chinese New Year becoming a bit more mainstream in pop culture

Wang: I think it's a great start. I grew up not seeing the Chinese New year celebrated anywhere except maybe on the Chinese news station. Certainly I wouldn't imagine seeing it on sports and I wouldn't imagine seeing it on network TV. So certainly I'm very excited about it. I'm a new mom so I think about that  for my child. About how much exposure he's going to have for something that we don't really celebrate in this country.

On what aspects of Chinese New Year would be more fun to bring to United States

Xia: I think we should bring back the fireworks aspect of it. Bring back the funner things about Chinese New Year, just to get people excited. And let's infuse capitalism  into Chinese New Year! As a kid you get money from your parents (for the holiday). And I think that I need money now more than when I was a kid so that would be a huge plus for anyone to celebrate Chinese New Year.

To hear the conversation, click the blue player above