Celebrating Lunar New Year


By Emily Caslander, staff writer

Around the world, millions of people are coming together to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Lunar New Year is a celebration of the upcoming spring and the new beginning of the lunisolar calendar.  China and other countries are celebrating the Lunar New Year right now! People around the world use this cultural holiday to get together with family and eat great food.

Jenna Huynh, a freshman at Wayne Hills shares her aspects of the Lunar New Year by saying “We always make a ton of food and lay it out on a table in from of our Buddha shrine as an offering for the New Year. As well as another table in front of our front door for any visiting spirits. We also pray at the very end, and the parents will give their kids red envelopes.”

By decorating their windows with red paper cuttings and hanging red banners on their door, families express their welcoming to the new year. The Lunar New Year begins on the first new moon that is marked on the lunisolar calendar and ends with the last full moon. This usually marks a 15-day period. Typically this holiday begins between January 21st and ends around February 20th. 

The Chinese calendar works on a 12-year cycle. Each year one of the various animals: rat, ox, tiger, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig, gets chosen. This Year, in the Chinese zodiac, 2023, was chosen to be the year of the rabbit. The rabbit symbolizes grace, beauty, mercy, and good luck.

Many myths are spread about the monster “Nian.” CNN says, “Legend has it Nian was a ferocious underwater beast with sharp teeth and horns. Every Lunar New Year’s Eve, it crawled onto the land and attacked a nearby village.” By hanging red banners on their doors, and lighting fireworks each night,  families in China kept the “monster” away from their homes. These rituals are still followed and believed by people today. 

The final day of the Lunar New Year is known to be the “highlight”. In China, they hold a lantern festival, where families and friends join together to celebrate the last day of the Lunar New Year. Not only is it the last day of the celebration of the Lunar New Year, but it also doubles as China’s “Valentine’s day.”