On January 22, the Lunar New Year started! And this year is the “Year of the Rabbit”! Let’s learn a bit more about this celebration.
When is the Lunar New Year?
The Lunar New Year begins on the date (in East Asia) of the second new Moon after the winter solstice, which always takes place in late December. This means that the first day of the Lunar New Year can occur anytime between January 21 and February 20.
Why Are There Different New Years?
The traditional Chinese calendar is a lunisolar calendar, which means that it is based on astronomical observations of the Sun’s position in the sky and the Moon’s phases. This ancient calendar dates back to the 14th century BCE. The Chinese lunisolar calendar shares some similarities with the Hebrew calendar, which is also lunisolar, and it has influenced other East Asian calendars, such as those of Korea and Vietnam.
Just like New Year according to the Gregorian calendar (January 1), Lunar New Year celebrations start on the night before the first day of the new year.
China does follow the Gregorian calendar for daily business, but still follows the Chinese calendar for important festivals, and auspicious dates such as the Moon phases.
Who Celebrates the Lunar New Year?
Although this holiday has commonly been called “Chinese New Year” in the West, China isn’t the only country to observe it. Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is the most celebrated and longest of all Asian festivals and is observed by millions of people around the world.
A number of the other countries in East Asia, including Vietnam, Korea, Japan, and the Philippines, hold their own new year celebrations at this time.
What Is the Animal for the Lunar New Year This Year?
In 2023, we rang in the Year of the Rabbit, one of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. The animal designations of the zodiac follow a 12-year cycle and are always used in the same sequence.
Those born in the Year of the Rabbit are said to be talented at many things. They are affectionate people, often excelling at forming close relationships. However, they also appreciate tranquility and seek out peace.
I hope you find this interesting. And do you celebrate the Lunar New Year? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments, and don’t forget to subscribe!
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Until next time, take care and stay safe!