Holiday Traditions Around the World – Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year, Chinese Chunjie, Vietnamese Tet, Korean Solnal, Tibetan Losar, also called Spring Festival, festival typically celebrated in China and other Asian countries that begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends on the first full moon of the lunar calendar, 15 days later. (Britannica)

Celebrating Lunar New Year

Traditionally, New Year’s eve is spent with a family feast known as a reunion dinner. New Year’s day is spent with family and include religious ceremonies that honor ancestors. It is seen as time of new beginnings, with a focus on three overarching themes of “fortune, happiness, and health.” Also on New Year’s day, family members receive red envelopes (lai see) containing small amounts of money.

Celebrations continue throughout the holidays, culminating in the Lantern Festival, which is celebrated on the last day of the New Year’s celebrations (in 2021, the Lantern Festival will take place on February 26). Festival celebrations include lion and dragon dances, parades, and fireworks. On this night colorful lanterns light up the houses, and traditional foods such as yuanxiao (sticky rice balls that symbolize family unity), fagao (prosperity cake), and yusheng (raw fish and vegetable salad) are served. For more information about the Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, click here.

Year of the Ox

The Chinese New Year marks the change of the zodiac signs. 2021 is the Year of the Ox. To learn more about the Chinese zodiac signs, including the Year of the Ox, visit these sites: