Lunar New Year


Dyana Wing So

Lunar Festival in Philadelphia Chinatown

The Lunar New Year began on Jan. 22, 2023. The holiday is celebrated in China, Vietnam, South Korea, and countries with a high overseas Chinese population. This special holiday starts on a different day each year. This is because Lunar New Year begins when the second new moon rises after the winter solstice.

For this Lunar New Year, many started preparing last year on Dec. 23. They started preparing by cleaning around the house and going new year shopping. On New Year’s Eve, people decorate their homes, eat dinner with family, and give red envelopes to kids. These red envelopes contain money and signify good luck. For the final part of the preparation, people stay up late for new years day.

Lunar New Year is celebrated for a total of 15 days. To kick off day one, many people set off things like firecrackers and fireworks. There are also lion and dragon dances, a traditional dance that is performed during festival celebrations.

To perform the dance, a group of people go under the Chinese dragon and hold it up with poles. They then try to mimic the movement of the spirit. These dances used to be popular, but they are starting to make a comeback and are seen more in Hong Kong and Macau. In public parks and temples, there are many things to do like praying, buying crafts, and buying food. Beijing’s temple fairs are the most popular and are where a lot of people go to.

On day two of the tradition, married daughters visit their parent’s home. They give gifts and red envelopes to their family and relatives. People also don’t clean for the first two days, because it is believed that sweeping sweeps the good luck away.

On days three through seven, some will visit tombs of their relatives, but it is believed to be bad because there could be evil spirits around. On day eight, people go back to work.

Moving on to the final day, the Chinese Lantern Festival begins. On this day, many people send glowing lanterns into the sky. They also release them into the lakes, the sea, and rivers. Streets are also decorated with lanterns and with riddles written on them. The final day is very cheerful, and everyone has a good time.