The Lunar New Year is the most important social and economic holiday for billions of people around the world.
The holiday is tied to lunar-solar Chinese calender and was orinally observed as a time to honor household and heavenly dieties and ancestors.
Today, Lunar New Year is a special time to bring firends and family together for feasting and festivities in China, Korea, Vietnam, Japan, Mongolia and other countries all over the world.
Lunar New Year is a celebration of the arrival of spring and the beginning of a new year on the lunisolar calendar. It is the most important holiday in China, and it is also widely celebrated in South Korea, Vietnam, and countries with a significant overseas Chinese population. While the official dates encompassing the holiday vary by culture, those celebrating consider it the time of the year to reunite with immediate and extended family.
Commonly known as the Spring Festival in China, Lunar New Year is a fifteen-day celebration marked by many traditions. At home, families decorate windows with red paper cuttings and adorn doors with couplets expressing auspicious wishes for the new year. Shopping for holiday sundries in open-air markets and cleaning the house are also beloved traditions. The Lunar New Year’s Eve reunion dinner is the highlight that kicks off the holiday, a feast with a spread of symbolic dishes, such as a whole fish representing abundance, that bring good luck and fortune. The fifteenth and final day of the holiday is the Lantern Festival, during which people have tangyuan, or sweet glutinous rice balls, and children carry lanterns around the neighborhood at night to mark the end of the celebration.
In the Chinese zodiac, 2023 is the year of the rabbit. In the Vietnamese and Gurung (Central Nepal) zodiac, the cat replaces the rabbit. In the Malay zodiac, the mousedeer replaces the rabbit. We also acknowledge that many Asian American and Pacific Islanders do not follow the Chinese/Lunar zodiac.
Sugary foods are especially important because they are believed to sweeten prospects for the coming year.
While the Lunar New Year is a time of traditions and beliefs, the most important aspect of celebrating the holiday is having a great time with friends and family!
Happy Lunar New Year everyone!!
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