Celebrating Lunar New Year Around the World

Vietnam lunar new year image

Lunar New Year is a time of joy and celebration for many countries around the world.

Originating in ancient China, the holiday is now celebrated in many East Asian countries and has recently become popular in other parts of the world.

Each country has its own customs and traditions related to the festive event, and understanding these can help to make the celebration even more meaningful.

This guide provides an easy-to-follow overview of what to expect and what to do in some of the countries that mark the Lunar New Year.

From traditional dragon dances in China to exchanging gifts in South Korea, get ready to experience the joy of Lunar New Year celebrations around the world.

What is Lunar New Year?

Lunar New Year is a special celebration that marks the start of a new year based on the moon's cycle.

It is celebrated by many cultures around the world, from Asia to the Middle East.

East Asian Lunar New Year

Many countries in Asia celebrate the New Year in different ways.

  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Taiwan
  • Vietnam
  • South Korea

celebrate the new year with the lunar calendar.

Mongolia and Tibet celebrate the new year based on a closely related lunar calendar.

Japan celebrates the new year with the solar calendar.

Chinese Lunar New Year

Chinese New Year is a special celebration that has been around for a very long time.

Every year, people would clean their houses and then get together with their families to have a big feast.

They would also go to their friends' houses to wish each other a happy new year.

During Chinese New Year, Chinese people like to:

  • stick up special decorations
  • buy new things
  • eat a big meal with their families

Taiwanese Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year is an important holiday in Taiwan.

It was brought over from China by people who moved there a long time ago.

People visit temples and eat special foods like pineapple cakes.

Korean Lunar New Year

Korean New Year started a long time ago in the Silla Kingdom.

People celebrated it and it has continued through Goryeo and Joseon.

People give white envelopes for Korean New Year instead of red ones like in other countries.

Vietnamese Lunar New Year

Vietnamese New Year is a holiday that was brought by Emperor Zhao Tuo a long time ago.

People celebrate by eating special food like Chung cake and pickled onions, drinking rice liquor, and getting tattoos.

They also give lucky money.

It is a very important holiday in Vietnam!

South Asian Lunar New Year

Every year, people in South Asia celebrate special festivals according to their local lunisolar calendars.

These festivals are based on Indian traditions and are celebrated differently in different places.

For example, there are different ways of celebrating:

  • Maharashtra and Goa: Gudi Padwa
  • Tamil Nadu: Puthandu
  • Sindhi Hindus: Cheti Chand
  • Manipur: Sajibu Cheiraoba

There are also some festivals that are celebrated in Tibet, such as Galdan Namchot and Losoong.

Indian Lunar New Year

People in India celebrate two special days each year to mark the start of the new year.

  • Autumn: Diwali
  • Spring: Gudi Padwa/Ugadi/Puthandu

These days are marked by the sun's entry into Aries.

Southeast Asian Lunar New Year

People in some parts of Southeast Asia celebrate the Lunar New Year.

It is based on a special calendar and influenced by different traditions, like Indian Hindu and Islamic traditions.

For example, there are celebrations such as:

  • Bali in Indonesia: Nyepi
  • Chams: Rija Nukan
  • Javanese: Satu Suro

Singapore Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year is an important holiday for people in Singapore who have Chinese ancestry.

It is celebrated with special traditions like visiting family, giving red envelopes with money, and eating special foods.

Malaysian Lunar New Year

In Malaysia, three different ethnic groups live together.

They have their own culture and festivals such as:

  • Hari Raya Puasa
  • Chinese New Year
  • Deepavali

Every 33 years, these festivals all happen close to each other, and it's called Kongsi Raya.

Middle East/West Asian Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year is a special holiday celebrated by some people living in the Middle East.

It is celebrated on different days depending on the calendar they use.

The Islamic calendar and the Hebrew calendar have different dates for Lunar New Year.

There are four different Lunar New Year observances in Judaism.

  • Ebionites, characterized by asceticism, etc.
  • Nazarenes, an artistic movement

also have their own special dates that they celebrate Lunar New Year.

North American Lunar New Year

The Nisg̱a'a people celebrate Hobiyee when the first crescent moon appears in February or March.

They have big celebrations in Nisg̱a'a and cities where many Nisg̱a'a people live, like Vancouver.

The Chinese New Year (or Spring Festival) is a long and grand event.

If you want to know more about the Spring Festival,

Please read this article.

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