there’s a discussion about holiday season in the USA, holidays like
Thanksgiving and Christmas are typically counted in. In fact, there are several
holidays that come between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, and they’re celebrated
with equal conviction and love. However, as soon as the New Year’s ends, the
mentality is to get back to work and become serious again.
you know that shortly after New Years, there’s another holiday waiting that
brings all the family members together and springs hope inside them like no
other? In most Asian countries, there are traditions associated with the Lunar
New Year which falls sometime between 20th January and 21st
February. Some people relate this tradition with the Chinese New Year Spring
Festival (CNY) as well!
year, the Lunar New Year is starting on February 12th and, according to the
Chinese Zodiac animal, this is going to be the year of the Ox.
you ever wonder why it’s called the Lunar New Year? Basically, it’s the first
right of new moon of the lunisolar calendars – a tradition observed in China,
South Korea and Vietnam. It is apparently regulated by the cycle of moon and
New York Times explains it as a solar year, which is the amount of time it
takes the earth to orbit around the sun. It takes the earth roughly 365 days to
orbit around the sun, making it a lunar year and giving us 12 lunar moon as the
byproduct. However, an addition of one more year is made to stay as close to
the solar year as possible. And that is exactly the reason why New Year comes
on a different day every year despite being on the same date of the month.
China, there’s a proper celebration of 15 days right after New Year’s Eve. The
celebrations begin with a celebratory dinner and end with the Lantern festival.
The time is usually spent cherishing the family bond and become stronger than before.
The overarching theme in the Asian families, the collectivism, is on full swing.
People wish for good fortune and happiness. There’s also a special prayer made
for the sick members of the family.
a common misconception that New Years is only observed in China. On the contrary,
countries that celebrate this tradition are spread all over the globe. This
includes the famous territories of Asia like Singapore. In Vietnam, the lunar
celebrations are known as Tết. Basically, there might be unique names to the
same tradition. In the US and other parts of the world, the celebrations are
known as Chinese New Year.
America, it gained popularity due to presence of the Asian American community
which continues to increase every year.
explains the celebration hilariously:“It’s
kind of like that old Friends joke, ‘In China, they just call it ‘food’; in
Chinese, it’s just the New Year.”
are some of the common traditions celebrated on lunar year:
China, money is gifted to young children by their parents and elders in the
family. Basically, the money is given to anyone who is unmarried. It’s almost
like the eidi tradition celebrated by
Muslims around the world on Eid. The idea is to have fun – and you know what?
If a person is unmarried even at 40, he gets to enjoy these red pockets of
money! Way to go!
red envelopes and coins are gifted due to the age old tradition that supports
the notion that it helps ward off the evil eye and spirits. This is the time
for children to have fun and collect money for investment.
are anyway part of the New Year’s traditions throughout the world. They’re a sight
to behold—as long as they’re done safely. On Lunar New Year, they are cracked
to ward off the ancient monster called Nian. Some people choose to keep it
non-fiery as they use confetti canons instead.
are several myths attached to the lunar year. For example, some people say that
you must pay off all your debts before the New Year begins, otherwise it could
be bad luck for you. Some say that you should not cut your hair on the lunar
year. In fact, they believe that you should entirely put away scissors from
your sight. Asians get extremely conscious and try to avoid all signs of
scissors as the lunar year approaches.
And, as you know, there are several taboos in the Asian community and
you must not ask why.
people say that you should not wear black or white at this time of the year, as
these colors are only for mourning. Therefore, to attract more luck, you must
wear red. There’s another suggestion that makes no sense at all: Apparently,
you shouldn’t do your laundry on the first and second day of the year, as they
are the birthday of Shuishen, who is the Water God. In fact, they go way
overboard and claim that you should also not wash your hair as it might wash
away your fortune.
course, lunar year is going to be much different in 2021 due to the ongoing
pandemic. The celebrations will not be the same in the US and Asia, as they
were in Ash Wednesday 2019 or 2020. For example, Hong Kong is struck with the fourth wave of the
virus, whereas San Francisco has canceled all the festivities that were there last
year. So, no more parade (at least this year).
are tough times that we’re living in, so make sure you say a prayer for the
betterment of the world while celebrating lunar year.
like our page on Facebook for more information about the
lunar year traditions in Australia, Philippines, ideas, Singapore, UK!
this space to find out more celebrations that are special this year, like the
Lunar New Year falls on 12th February 2021!