What is Lunar New Year and How it is celebrated?

On February 10 Asian American communities around the US will start Year of Dragon with community carnivals, parades, family gathering, fireworks and festivities.

In Asian countries, it is a festival that is celebrated for various days. In diaspora communities specially in cultural enclaves, Lunar New Year is visibly and joyfully celebrated.

In Chinese zodiac 2024 is Year of Dragon. Countries across Asia celebrate the new year in many ways and follow a different zodiac.

What is the Lunar New Year?

The Lunar New Year known as Spring Festival in China Tet in Vietnam and Seollal in Korea is a mega festival celebrated in various Asian countries. It is celebrated by diaspora communities around the globe.

It starts with first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends 15 days later on 1st full moon. The lunar calendar is based on the cycles of moon, the dates of holiday vary slightly each year falling between late january and mid february.

What are the animals of the zodiac?

Each year animal based on Chinese zodiac. The circle of 12 animals, the rat, ox , tiger, rabbit, dragon, goat, monkey measure cycles of time.

Legend has it a good beckoned all animals to bid him farewell before his departure from earth and 12 of them showed up. The Vietnamese zodiac is different honoring the cat instead of rabbit and buffalo instead of the ox.

How do diaspora communities celebrate?

Members of Asian American communities around the US also organize parades, festivities and carnivals around the Lunar New Year featuring dragon dances, lion, fireworks traditional food and culture performances.

New things for their home like furniture, decorate using orchids and brightly colored flowers. Lunar New Year also celebrated as a cultural event by some Asian American Christian and observed by several Catholic dioceses across of the US as well as other churches.

What are some special foods for the new year?

Each culture has own list of special foods during new year including rice cakes, spring rolls fish and meats. In Chinese culture changshou mian or long life noodles are consumed with a wish for a long happy life.

In Vietnamese banch chung and banh tet traditional dishes made from glutinous rice are must for celebrations. To make a banh tet banana leaves are lined with rice sof mung beans and pork belly which is then wrapped in leaves and tied up with strings.

What are some beliefs around the Lunar New Year?

Beast feared the color red loud noises and fire, people put up red paper dragons on their doors, burned red lanterns all night and set off firecrackers to frighten the monster.

Lunar New Year celebration is centred around removing bad luck. Red is good color to ring in new year.The color symbolizes good joy and fortune. People dress up in red attire decorate home with red paper and used red envelopes to give love one and friends money for new year.

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