春节快乐 | Chūnjié kuàilè | Happy Spring Festival

We are getting ready to celebrate the Lunar New Year and look forward to honor these beautiful traditions. Mandarin teacher Xuebing DING is organizing an event to share these traditions with our community next Thursday, JAN 26.

In China, Chinese New Year is known as chūnjié (春节), or Spring Festival. While it’s the coldest time of the year, it marks the turn-around in seasons, when people begin to look forward to spring (and in the old days, new planting). It symbolizes new beginnings and fresh starts.

Every year as January starts to wrap up and February approaches, the atmosphere is filled with excitement, hope, and anticipation for the upcoming Lunar New Year. This year, JAN 22 marks the year of the rabbit, considered the luckiest of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac because it represents peace, prosperity and longevity.

Why Lunar New Year and not Chinese New Year?
Asian Pacific Americans and Expats are often getting lumped together into one category as a monolith, despite each ethnicity having a rich diversity of history, tradition, and culture. In fact, not every Asian ethnicity observes Lunar New Year. East Asian Lunar New Year celebrations are based on the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar occurring in late January or early February. Those who fall under this category are: Chinese New Year (Spring Festival), Korean New Year (Seollal), Mongolian New Year (Tsagaan Sar), Tibetan New Year (Losar), Vietnamese New Year (Tết)

Meanwhile, South & Southeast Asian New Year celebrations have dates based on the solar cycle (“solar new year”), thus their new year is marked by the solar year, which occurs at the time when the Sun enters Aries around mid-March or mid-April. Those who fall under this category are: Bengali New Year (Pohela Boishakh), Burmese New Year (Thingyan), Cambodian New Year (Chaul Chnam Thmey), Lao New Year (Pi Mai), Nepali New Year (Nepal Sambat), Sinhalese New Year, (Aluth Avurudda), Tamil New Year (Puthandu), Thai New Year (Songkran)
Over 1.5 Billion people celebrate Lunar New Year around the world!

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