Lunar New Year: Spring Festival
Saturday February 10 – Sunday February 25
Lunar New Year, Chinese Chunjie, Vietnamese Tet, Korean Seollal, Tibetan Losar, also called Spring Festival, is typically celebrated in Asian countries and begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends on the first full moon of the lunar calendar, 15 days later. The lunar calendar is based on the cycles of the moon, so the dates of the holiday vary slightly from year to year, beginning sometime between January 21 and February 20 according to Western calendars.
Approximately 10 days before the beginning of the new lunar year, houses are thoroughly cleaned to remove any bad luck that might be lingering inside, a custom called “sweeping of the grounds.” Traditionally, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are reserved for family celebrations, including religious ceremonies honoring ancestors. Also on New Year’s Day, family members receive red envelopes (lai see) containing small amounts of money. Dances and fireworks are prevalent throughout the holidays, culminating in the Lantern Festival, which is celebrated on the last day of the New Year’s celebrations. 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.
The origins of the Lunar New Year festival are thousands of years old and are steeped in legends. One legend is that of Nian, a hideous beast believed to feast on human flesh on New Year’s Day. Because Nian feared the color red, loud noises, and fire, red paper decorations were pasted to doors, lanterns were burned all night, and firecrackers were lit to frighten the beast away.
2024 is the Year of the Dragon: a symbol of power, strength, and luck. The element for 2024 is wood, which symbolizes growth, flexibility, and creativity. People born in the Year of the Wood Dragon are said to be ambitious, adventurous, and charismatic.
The year of the wood dragon in 2024 will be a lively and stimulating year for all. It will be a year full of possibilities, challenges, and transformations. It will be a year to follow your passions, share your thoughts, and act on them. It will also be a year to show courage, confidence, and optimism.
But the year of the wood dragon will also have some dangers and doubts. It may be a year of fierce competition, conflict, and pressure. It will be a year to be careful, sensible, and realistic. It will also be a year to be flexible, adaptable, and cooperative.
To benefit from the year of the wood dragon, you need to balance your enthusiasm with your wisdom, your ambition with your humility, and your independence with your teamwork.
Haengbokan Saehae Doeseyo (행복한 새해 되세요) which translates to “Have a Happy New Year!”