By: Sydnee Petruzzi
The Lunar New Year is celebrated in China and other Asian countries. The celebration can take place anytime between January 21 and February 20.
The Lunar calendar is based on the phases of the moon. It evolved and created the Gregorian Calendar. The one that is most used today. The Lunar calendar has 12 months with 29-30 days in each month because each lunation takes about 29 ½ days. This makes a lunar year 354 days, 8 hours, 48 minutes, and 34 seconds long. A lunar year is about eleven days shorter than that of a solar year.
The holiday began to honor household and heavenly deities. It begins with the first new moon and lasts for 15 days until the full moon. Each will represent one of the twelve zodiac animals. For instance, 2023 will be the year of the rabbit. Each animal corresponds with five elements, earth, water, fire, wood, and metal. These are used to help determine personalities of the different elements.
When asked if they knew what animal they were, two Lenape tech students knew. Noxx Lorigan said, “I’m a rooster because I was born in the year 2005.” Noah Wysocki stated, “I was born in the year 2006, so I’m a dog.”
Lunar New Year is a time to start fresh. In preparation for the holiday, houses will be cleaned to remove any bad luck from the new year. This custom is called “sweeping the grounds.” This tradition is particularly important because during the fifteen days cleaning will bring bad luck until the end of the holiday. Once clean, the house will be decorated red because it brings festivity, good health, fortune, wealth, and prosperity. It is important not to borrow or lend any money during this time. It is believed to bring financial struggles to the new year. The word “book” is pronounced “lose” in Chinese, so it is custom to not buy or give away books until the start of the new year. The first day of Lunar New Year will set the tone for the rest of the year. Therefore, people will avoid arguments and fights to start the year off the right way. People will also avoid changing their hair or even cutting it. This brings out good fortune because it is like washing away your fortune. During Lunar New Year, there will be a lantern festival held. This celebration will include dancing, traditional games, dragon, and lion dances, and lots of food. This festival is also known to be China’s valentine’s day. The lantern festival has become a particularly important tradition for the Lunar New Year.
The Lunar New Year is a time for celebration and festivities. It is also a clean slate and a great time to bring in good luck for the new year.