The Lunar New Year's Traditions and Superstitions, Explained - Deepstash
The Lunar New Year's Traditions and Superstitions, Explained

The Lunar New Year's Traditions and Superstitions, Explained

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The Lunar New Year

The Lunar New Year

  • A massive holiday in several Asian countries is the Lunar Year.
  • It is commonly associated with the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival.
  • It is so named because it marks the first new moon of the lunisolar calendars traditional to many east Asian countries.
  • It usually falls somewhere between January 21 and February 20 annually.
  • In 2021, the Lunar New Year is on February 12, and, according to the Chinese zodiac animal, it is the Year of the Ox.


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The Lunar New Year is not the Chinese New Year

In China, New Year's eve is the start of the 15-day celebration. It starts with a family feast called a reunion dinner filled with traditional Lunar New Year foods. It usually ends with the Lantern Festival.

But the Lunar New Year isn’t the same as Chinese New Year. In the U.S., the Lunar New Year is most commonly associated with the Chinese New Year, the American version of China’s 15-day long festivities.


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Spring Festival is a weeklong holiday

These days, in mainland China, almost everyone refers to the new year as the Spring Festival. Everywhee else, they still call it 'new year.'

Spring Festival is a weeklong holiday in the People's Republic of China. In 2021, it is February 11-17. The travel period before that holiday is known as Chunyun, where millions of people trek home to celebrate the new year with their extended families. It is the largest human migration on the planet.


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Lunar New Year: The layers of meaning and symbols

  • Upside-down fu characters on a square of red paper. The character, 福 [fú] means good luck and is hung upside down for Lunar New Year. The word 'to arrive' is a homophone for the word 'upside down'. So, the symbol means that good luck is arriving,
  • Red pockets full of money. In China, these are traditionally gifted from an elder or parent to children or anyone unmarried.
  • Firecrackers and fireworks. They are set off throughout Lunar New Year to ward off an ancient monster called Nian.


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Traditional dances

Traditional dances and gymnastic performances are part of a Lunar New Year parade.

  • The Lion Dance typically has two performers inside the costume, operating as the front and back legs.
  • The Dragon Dance shows puppeteers holding poles as they make the dragon move.


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Taboos and superstitions

Attracting good fortune into the next year and warding off bad a big theme of the holiday.

  • You're not supposed to cry or argue, only talk about good things.
  • You have to pay back your debts before you enter the new year.
  • Stay away from scissors on the Lunar New Year.
  • Avoid wearing black or white as it is associated with mourning.
  • Attract luck by wearing red.
  • Don't do laundry on the first two days of the new year, because they are celebrated as birthday oh Shuishen, the Water God.


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