Lunar New Year


Lunar New Year is a time of celebration among friends and family, where they honor ancestors and deities. It is the most significant social and economic holiday among East and Southeast Asian countries. The holiday is tied to the lunar-solar Chinese calendar, meaning each new year begins with the new moon during late January, which then spans to the next fifteen days of the first month until the full moon arrives.

Zodiac Animals: 

The Lunar calendar is represented by one of the 12 zodiac animals each year. The 12 are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and the pig. The calendar is also dependent on the cosmic path and element of the twelve signs. 

Origin Story:

About 3,500 years ago, during the night of the first new moon, a terrifying monster named Nian would go about terrorizing villages. This resulted in people dreading the new moon for many years. It wasn’t until later, a wise man taught them Nian’s weaknesses, which were loud noises, fire, and the color red. The next time Nian came, the villagers fought back and scared Nian away. After that, people learned to celebrate the new moon instead of fearing it, resulting in today’s tradition called Lunar New Year.

Food and Traditions:

There are various food and traditions among different cultures symbolizing togetherness, prosperity, and abundance. Egg rolls can represent wealth since they look like gold bars, while shrimp can symbolize liveliness since the Chinese word for it sounds like laughter. Some households prepare for the upcoming year by cleaning. It is believed that doing this will help cleanse inauspicious spirits from the past year. Another way that people prepare is by offering paper icons and food to ancestors to show respect. 


Here are some quotes from individuals who celebrate Lunar New Year annually:

  • “On Chinese New Year, we gathered around family and friends, and have a big feast, and we hand out red envelopes” Justin Lai
  • “Go to friend’s house and get the red envelope and say Happy New Year” Jeffrey 


Lunar New Year is a very meaningful holiday for many people. Celebrate this time of year with family and friends, while also participating in its rich cultural traditions. There are multiple greetings in each culture that have various meanings. “Xīnnián kuàilè,” or in other words, Happy New Year!