Lunar New Year – Celebrations | Foods | Traditions | History

The tradition of celebrating the Lunar New Year is very amazing. Their Rituals, History, Family Reunion, and Foods are making it very Unique and the largest festival in the world at present. 

It is the biggest festival in the world; celebrated by the largest number of people in the world at one time.

the festival is very popular in East Asia regions; this is a very special time for the people, the biggest occasion of the year is celebrated with great pomp and traditional way with the entire family.

In 2022 the celebration arrived on Tuesday, 1 February 2022; an animal sign of the year is the Tiger.

In the lunar new year 2023, this festival will come on Sunday, January 22, Animal sing will be the Rabbit.

What is the Lunar New Year?

Lunar New Year is a unique new year celebration to welcome a new year, the year that is based on the Lunar Calendar“. it’s usually coming between 21 January to 20 February every year; it is the first day of the first month of the lunar year.

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Its observance is most prevalent in Eastern countries of Asia China, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, Mongolia, Tibet, Nepal, etc. There are also most traditional festivals and seasonable festivals based on a lunar calendar.

This is a very beautiful new year celebration; the year is based on the lunar calendar; it’s usually coming between 21 January to 20 February every year; it is the first day of the first month of the lunar year.

It is the most important period for families, so generally, the country officials gift them more than a week of holidays during the celebrations.

Billions of people worldwide migrate to their homes to celebrate the traditional festival with their families.

All those who have gone away from their hometown for employment, business or studies in the country and abroad or in big cities, definitely return to the family on this occasion.

For this reason, during this time there is a huge crowd in air travel, trains, and buses around the world, that is why this movement is called the World Largest Migration.

Other Names of Lunar New Year: It is different known in different regions, Chinese Chun Jie, Tibetan Solar, Vietnamese tet, Korean Sollal, Mongolian Tsagan Sar, Japanese Rakuten, Indians Gudi Padwa and Ugadi, Indonesians Nyepi; it’s also known as the Spring festival because it’s coming in the spring season.

Lunar New Year vs Chinese New year

The Mandarins call it Chun Ji, but worldwide it is known as the Chinese New Year; the Lunar New Year, and the Chinese New Year are used as synonyms.

Chinese New Year is the most famous lunar new year celebration festival globally, and the lunar new year gets recognized by the Chinese new year worldwide.

Lunar Calendar

The lunar calendar is based on the movement of the moon, when the moon completes one round of the earth, it is called one Lunar Month, this time period is exact 29.5 days.

There are 12 months in a lunar year and the first month of the lunar year usually begins in late January or early February of the Gregorian calendar.

Leap Lunar Year

A lunar year usually has 12 months, but every second or third year is a leap year, with an additional month in that year.

There are 13 months in a leap year, in which one of the 12 months of the year is kept twice by forecasting the weather.

The time of completion of one year is 365 days and 6 hours but a lunar year calendar has 354 days so there is an extra month in a leap year.

Lunar New year Calendar 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025, 2026

Gregorian yearDate of Lunar New YearDayAnimal Sign
2018Feb. 16FridayDog
2019Feb. 5TuesdayPig
2020Jan. 25SaturdayRat
2021Feb. 12FridayOx
2022Feb. 1TuesdayTiger
2023Jan. 22SundayRabbit
2024Feb. 10SaturdayDragon
2025Jan. 29WednesdaySnake
2026Feb. 17TuesdayHorse
2027Feb. 6SaturdaySheep
2028Jan. 26WednesdayMonkey
2029Feb. 13TuesdayRooster
2030Feb. 3SundayDog
2030Jan. 23ThursdayPig
Lunar New year Calendar for 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025, 2026

Click here to 100+ Lunar new year calendar

Lunar calendar history

A lunar calendar was found in Scotland to 8000 bc, but some scholars argued that the lunar calendar is earlier, they claimed that Rappengluck in the marks on a c. 17,000-year-old cave painting at Lascaux and Marshack in the dots on a c. 27,000-year-old bone baton, but their finding remains controversial.

Why is it called lunar new year?

The word Lunar comes from the Latin word luna, which means the moon; the Lunar calendar same as the gregorian calendar; The year months are based on the lunar or moon cycle, moving around the earth. The first day of the year is called the lunar new year.

 Why is lunar new year called the spring festival?

The lunar new year is also known Spring festival because it’s falling at the beginning of the Spring season; the spring season usually falls in Asia from February to March. The lunar new year also comes in springtime, so the celebration is called the spring festival.

The Spring Festival is a modern name for Lunar New Year, which is received in 1914; When the Republic of China was formed in 1912, Sun Yat-sen came to power which followed the Greek Gregorian calendar; the Chinese Lunisolar calendar also existed with particular Chinese specialty.

Due to China being a vast country, people of multi-ethnic people reside, considering Chinese New Year since ancient times on different days, and their regional names are also other.

The Chinese government had a problem with respecting all ethnicities and declaring a national holiday for this festival. Hence, the immediate President Yuan Shikai decided to label the 15-day Spring Festival and give a 1-week holiday.

Who celebrates Lunar New Year?

The festival is celebrated worldwide, but It is the biggest occasion for Asia regions, especially in East Asia – China, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, Tibet, Mongolia, and usually celebrates Srilanka, India, Nepal, and Bhutan celebrate the traditional festival; Its start on the first new moon and end before the first full moon. The festival is going around 15 days.

History and traditions

Lunar year history and tradition are around 8000bc, it is a well-known festival worldwide. Its popularity starts with its Asian origins tradition—the celebration was born in China around 1650 to 1000 bc and adopted some other origins.

Chinese New Year Mythology

There is an exciting myth associated with celebrating this festival. According to Chinese mythology, Nian was a beast who lived in Sea or Mountain; during the spring festival, he destroyed villages and caught children to eat; then hides in the mountain.

One day villagers decide to kill the Beast, an older adult putting on a red cloth and burning firecrackers to be afraid of the Beast. After this movement, the villages saw Nian not coming again, everything would be okay, and towns thought Nian fears Red color and loud Noise. then every year, Chinese people put up red clothes and fireworks at the Spring festival.

Lunar new year celebrations

It is significant for the families, Cultural, Traditionally, and historically. This festival is a heritage that is highly ancient in Chinese tradition.

This time is full of happiness for the family, people do a lot of shopping, at this time discount offers are also going on in the shops; everybody wears new clothes.


Career choices, Educational opportunities, and Urbanization have alienated many Chinese families; the festival being the best opportunity serves as a significant opportunity for all to gather. Even today, a reunion for generations of families, and The most crucial opportunity remains to spend time together.

Lunar new year decorations

All the places are well decorated. Red and orange colors are mainly used in decoration, attractive posters are put up in front of shops and homes, and streets are decorated with fancy red steam light lanterns.

  • Red Lantern: Red lanterns are hung in front of doors, shops, and in the streets, it wards off bad luck.
  • Paper Cuttings: Paper cut decorated with beautiful animals and wishing good luck is applied to the walls, windows, and doors.
  • Door Cuplets: These beautiful couplets are easily available in the markets to wish a good new year.
  • Upside Down Fuk: Fuk means good fortune. It is hung from top to bottom.
  • Cherry blossoms, plum blossoms, and orchids: In spring, the first buds are planted in these, and these blossoms look so beautiful. People decorate homes with their twigs; It is believed that this brings good luck.
  • Kumquat, orange, and mandarin trees: These small trees are sold heavily in pots, and people have them in homes; With this the arrival of wealth, luck, and prosperity.
  • Money tree: Made from a bamboo branch, decorated with beautiful colors and shiny paper, it brings wealth.

Rituals and Customs that Performed on the Occasion of Lunar New Year:-

  • Cleanliness:- Preparations for the festival begin half a month before the Spring Festival. Cleaned of dust from the city or the village, all public places, houses, plains, streets, and shops decorated with favorite colors are believed to bring good fortune.
  • Reunion Dinner:- The reunion dinner, On the eve of the new year, all the family members sit together and have dinner and ask the guests, the women of the family make and serve all the dishes, this time is very crucial for the family.
  • The Rituals of giving lucky money in a red envelope:- In the Spring Festival, it is customary to keep children away from evil powers and to bring good luck to give money in red envelopes, which is called Lucky Money. The range is 100 to 500 money, which the children generally use this money to take toys, eat sweets, gamble, bring clothes, or choose.
  • Send a Massage or Letter of Congratulations:- On this occasion, relatives send greetings and greetings in envelopes made of beautiful decorations, which the Postal Department of China guarantees to deliver before New Year’s Eve. Nowadays, sending envelopes has reduced slightly because people now send messages or emails from the phone.
  • Visiting relatives and friends home:- On this occasion, there has also been a tradition of visiting friends and relatives, people give each other greetings and gifts.
  • Eating Traditional Foods:- Everyone enjoys many types of traditional food.
  • Going to Temple:- Prayers are performed in Buddhist temples, performing religious rituals and worship on New Year’s Day for a promising future.
  • Fireworks:- There has been a tradition of bursting firecrackers on the occasion of the festival; there are many fireworks on this occasion; this tradition is related to the mythical Beast Nian. But in the present time of excessive pollution, it has been banned in many cities.
  • Public Celebration: There are periodicals and performances of Lion Dance and Dragon Dance to entertain people on the plains and streets. There are also Colorful Programs and Pared that people come to see and enjoy the schedules of other cities on TV. On this occasion, the president of the nation addresses the citizens of the country.
  • Lantern Festival:- Lantern Festival is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the Spring Festival. All the places are decorated with beautiful lanterns; lanterns are blown in the sky. This is the last day of the festival.
  • 16th Day is Working Day, where people return to their work.

lunar new year Foods

The value of food is at the next level, this is an event in which families meet once a year. New Year’s Eve is for food special only, and in this 15-day celebration, people cook or buy a variety of dishes for eating.

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When it is festival time, it is common to prepare different types of dishes in homes.

Since all the family members are together during the celebrations, all Chinese traditional dishes are prepared.

Directly associated with good fortune, these dishes are served and eaten in traditional ways.

It is also a tradition in China that on New Year’s Eve all the family members gather at the house of the eldest son, where the women prepare the dishes and in the evening all the members sit together and enjoy the traditional dinner.

These traditional snacks, toffees, and all dishes are also available in the markets and shops.

At this time all the places are decorated with orange or red color, and orange fruit is considered to be a symbol of good fortune and purity, it brings peace and prosperity in life.

Traditional lunar new year food:- 

  • Fish (zhēng yú)
  • Glutinous rice cake (nián gāo)
  • Whole Chicken (zhēng jī)
  • Dumplings (jiǎo zi)
  • Longevity Noodles (cháng miàn)
  • Rice Balls
  • Spring Rolls (chūn juǎn)
  • Hot Pot (huǒ guō)
  • Vegetable Dishes and Fortune Fruits

Talk till late at night and play traditional games with family:-

  • Mah Jong
  • Chinese Poker
  • Chess
  • Gambling
  • Hunting for money
  • Hide and Seek

Zodiac Animals

Every region, where is a significant moment of every new year, has a sign of animals; according to their traditions, every lunar year has Zodiac Animals.

There are 12 Zodiac Animals that come every year one by one. According to the legend, these 12 animals were selected and ordered by the Jade Emperor, one of the great Chinese gods, who live in heaven by having a swimming competition.

Here is the order of the 12 lunar new year Zodiac animals: the first is Rat or Cat, Ox or Buffalo, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat or Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and the last is Pig.

According to Chinese astrology, every person gets a zodiac animal from the birth year to which their personality develops. Its random things are told, such as lucky numbers and lucky colors.


History and Origin of Chinese Zodiac Signs

There are no exact dates or times of its origin found anywhere, but its evidence in Chinese history has been found since ancient times.

The first evidence of this comes from Zhan Guo in the fifth century BC.

It was officially recognized 2000 years ago during the Han Dynasty, from 206 BC to 9 AD.

During the Zhou Dynasty of the Northern Territory (557–581 AD) the zodiac became a popular method for determining a person’s birth year and is still commonly used today.

The lunar calendar extolled the sequence of Chinese zodiac animals. According to myths, the Chinese lunar calendar was invented by the first Chinese emperor, Emperor Huangdi, in 2637 BC, which follows the cycles of the moon.

There are many legends and mythologies related to why included these 12 animals in the zodiac and how they decided their rank.

The Great Race Story

The Jade Emperor, one of the essential deities in Chinese religion, organized a race on his birthday and invited all the animals of the world to participate in the race.

As a reward, The first twelve animals across the river would be the winners, and they would each have a year of the zodiac named after them, thus starting the competition high.

  • First and Second Place:- The rat reached the river but he was poor at swimming, he requested the bull to cross the river, and the compassionate bull made the rat sit on the back. The rat hid in the bull’s ear as soon as it crossed the river, when the bull reached the emperor, the rat cleverly and swiftly touched the emperor’s foot. In this way, the rat got the first and the bull got the second place.
  • Third, Fourth, & Fifth Places: The tiger ran well, but the current in the river sent it a little far to the exhausted tiger; the rabbit jumped on a plateau between the river and then reached the banks of the river with the help of a temporary people. Then the flying dragon arrived, which was delayed because he was making people rain.
  • Sixth & Seventh Places: The next moment, the Jade Emperor heard the sound of a horse’s hoof, and the Emperor saw a horse coming towards him when a terrible dragon snake came out of the horse’s hoof. The poor horse had to be satisfied with seventh place while the snake got sixth place.
  • Eighth, Ninth, & Tenth places: After waiting a long time, a goat, monkey, and rooster came across the river in a fleet. The Emperor was pleased to see the three working together. Thus the eagle got the eighth, the monkey got the ninth, and the rooster got the tenth place.
  • Eleventh & Twelfth places: The next animal to complete the race was the dog, the Emperor asked – you are a good swimmer, why was there a delay, the dog replied – He had started bathing after seeing the clear water. He got eleventh place. At last, the boar came, the Emperor asked – why did it take you so long to cross the river, then the boar replied that he was hungry and stopped to eat, then he fell asleep after the meal. In this way, the boar got twelfth place.

12 Zodiac Signs- Horoscope, Compatibility, Element

The Chinese Zodiac is called Sheng Xiao or Shu Jiang; There is a cycle of 12 years of 12 zodiac animals which starts with the zodiac animal rat and ends with the pig. All animals come one by one in these 12 years.

It plays an essential role in Chinese culture; This zodiac animal represents years in China, and according to Chinese astrology affects people’s personality, career, education, marriage, and fate.

Every year there is a Zodiac animal in the lunar new year, here you will know- what is your Zodiac sign?

Zodiac AnimalsYearsPersonalityLucky ColorsLucky Numbers
Rat1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020, 2032, 2044, 2056, 2068, 2080creative, intelligent, sociable, generous, ambitious, angry, patienceBlue, Gold, Green2 & 3
Ox1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021, 2033, 2045, 2057, 2069, 2081Strong, sociable, self-confident, fearless, honest, peace-loving, fair-hearted, courageous, dominative, trustworthy, reliableGreen, Yellow, Red1 & 4
Tiger1962, 1974, 1986, 1998. 2010, 2022, 2034, 2046, 2058, 2070, 2082Confident, powerful, aggressive, brave, determined, tough, lonelyBlue, Gray, Orange1, 3, 4
Rabbit1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023, 2035, 2047, 2059, 2071, 2083Clever, kind, polite, responsible, timidRed, Pink, Purple, Blue3, 4, 6
Dragon1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024, 2036, 2048, 1960, 1972, 1984Leadership, knowledgeable, attractive personality, aggressive, arrogantGold, Silver, Grayish, White1, 6, 7
Snake1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025, 2037, 2049, 2061, 2073, 2085Reclusive, Great thinker, Anxious, Responsible, Leadership, Creative, Romantic, Enthusiastic, LoyalBlack, Red, Yellow2, 8, 9
Horse1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026, 2038, 2050, 2062, 2074, 2086Leadership, arrogant, energetic, passionate, romantic, sentimentalYellow, Green2, 3, 7
Goat1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027, 2039, 2051, 2063, 2075, 2087Calm, gentle, sociable, family lover, selflessBrown, Red, Purple2, 7
Monkey1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028, 2040, 2052, 2064, 2076, 2088Smart, intelligent, inventive, gentle, quick, clever, naughty, sociableGold, White, Blue4, 9
Rooster1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029, 2041, 2053, 2065, 2077, 2089Responsive, distinctive, gentle, clever, punctual, sociableGold, Brown, Yellow5, 7, 8
Dog1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030, 2042, 2054, 2066, 2078, 2090Responsive, loyal, family lover, clever, sociable, aggressive, fearless, obedient, hardworking, intelligentGreen, Red, Purple3, 4, 9
Pig1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031, 2043, 2055, 2067, 2079, 2091diligent, generous, honest, frank, family lover, sociable, compassionateGold, Brown, Grey2, 5, 8

Lunar New Year in China

Chinese new year played most contribute to the tremendous it; Chinese New Year is a new year celebration of China Tradition; the year is based on the Chinese lunisolar calendar, and the celebration is also called Spring festival.

China is a large and the most populated country globally. For earning money or study, they go out of the country. It is a big celebration for them, so all foreigners come back home for the festival; this migration is the most massive migration known worldwide.

Chinese officials give more than a week of holidays to celebrate the festival; People come back home to celebrate the Chinese New Year. These times are most valuable for families, relatives, and friends.

The celebration duration is around 15 days in China, Which starts on the last night of New Year and ends 15 days later at the Lantern Festival.

Happy New Year in Chinese 新年快乐 ( Xinnian kuaile )

Happy Lunar New Year in Chinese – 农历新年快乐 ( Nónglì xīnnián kuàilè )

Some traditions and rituals of Chinese New Year – traditional food is an essential ritual of Chinese New Year, its called Reunion Dinner (nian ye fan)

  • Elder gift some money to children and aging relatives for better luck( Lucky money).
  • People exchange gifts with each other and wish a happy new year.
  • Everyone cleans their house and decorate parks, home, shops, etc.
  • Colorful flower decoration is essential for decoration.
  • People go to the open market (this is a unique market for new year shopping).
  • Putting up traditional Red Cloth.
  • Everyone sings the song happy new year and watches movies with the family.
  • Burn firecrackers (now fireworks are banned in China).
  • Clicking family photos.

Is the Chinese new year the same as the lunar new year? 

Lunar New Year is known as the Chinese New Year In China. We can say both are the same. also celebrates other countries are different names like Tibetan Solar, Vietnamese tet, Korean Sollal, Mongolian Tsagan Sar, and Japanese Rakuten. they celebrate the lunar new year but not the Chinese New Year.

Vietnamese Lunar New Year

The lunar new year is called in Vietnam “TET“, the full name is “Tet Nguyen Dan“; The day of the Tet celebration is the same as the Chinese new year.

Tet is the most essential and unique celebration for every Vietnamese; every year, Vietnam officials declare a long holiday to celebrate the traditional Tet. To enjoy Tet, everyone migrates home and celebrates the festival with their family and friends. Tet is also called the Spring Festival.

In 2021 ( gregorian date), it falls on 12 February, Friday, Singh’s animal is Buffalo.

Tet is a big occasion for pilgrims and family reunions; They Wish the new year by greeting each other. If anyone wants to visit Vietnam duration of the tet celebration is an excellent idea.

Happy New Year in Vietnamese – chúc mừng năm mới.

Korean Seollal 

The Festival is called Seollal in South Korea. The celebration date is the same as the Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese new year; their government official gives them special holidays to celebrate the new year festival.

Rituals of Korean New Year

Charye is a ritual of the Korean new year, first three days during the Charye ritual parents and other relatives come to the son’s home and perform the ceremony, and relative females prepare the traditional food to serve the family and enjoy music.

The Sebae Ritual – children put up a traditional cloth and wish their elders, and this is the happy new year performing, then elders give them some money.

Tteokguk Food is a tradition of Korean food; enjoy every Korean to celebrate the lunar new year. Yutnori and Gostop are traditional games to enjoy food, catch each Other, and play cards with family.

happy new year in Korean –  새해 복 많이 받으세요 ( saehae bog manh-i bad-euseyo )

Lunar New Year Japan

Japan officially celebrates the New Year from January 1873 to January 1 based on the Gregorian calendar, but it was not until 1872. before this, every occasion was based on a lunisolar calendar; But there are still glimpses of this in far-flung villages or even migrating from neighboring countries to celebrate it.

The main reason Why japan does not celebrate Lunar New Year –

  • In 1868, the Meiji government was formed. Japan underwent major changes and political revolutions, which resulted in the Gregorian calendar being replaced by the Lunar calendar, and the New Year on January 1 Has been done.
  • Ambitious Japan wanted to compete with western countries, so it adopted the Gregorian calendar.
  • Due to Japan’s inclination toward western countries and the rapid industrialization of the world, the government wanted to end the orthodox tradition and superstitions.
  • Every second year in the lunar calendar is a lip year consisting of 13 months, for which the employer had to pay an additional salary of 1 month.

currently major Japanese doesn’t celebrate the lunar new year, but they celebrate the new year on 1st January in traditional style with their Traditional Foods, Mochi, Post Card, Bell ringing, Gams, Poetry, Entertainment, etc.

Some places of Japan where the Spring Festival can still be seen – Yokohama celebrates the Lunar New Year for 15 days, some cities in Okinawa, Southern Islands, Ikebukuro of TokyoKobe, some places in ChinatownNagasaki’s annual lantern festival; these are some of the places which celebrate the lunar new year, Yokohama and Chinatown are very famous.

Some New Year Foods in Japan – Shushi, Zoni, Sashimi, Mochi.

Some Japanese New Year Year Traditional games – Fukuwarai, Hanetsuki, Karuta, Sugoroku, Kendama, Otedama, Menko, Daifugo, Takagi, Koma.

Let’s know how this change came; Japan adopted the lunisolar calendar for time calculation in the sixth century; all its neighbor regions also used this calendar; all events were based on this calendar.

happy new year in Japanese – 明けましておめでとうございます ( Akemashiteomedetōgozaimasu )

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