How do you celebrate the beginning of a new year? In the United States, we celebrate the New Year on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, but in many Asian countries the Lunar New Year is also observed. The Lunar New Year is the most important celebration of the year in China and for Chinese people all over the world. People from Vietnam, Korea, Tibet, Singapore, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand also celebrate the Lunar New Year. It is a time for thinking about the past, honoring ancestors, and making preparations for a successful year to come.
The Lunar New Year begins on the first new moon of the first month of the lunar calendar and ends two weeks later with the full moon. The exact date of the Lunar New Year changes each year according to the lunar and solar calendars, ensuring that it can remain in January or February. The 15-day celebration begins on the evening before the start of the new lunar year.
Across Asia and the Asian diaspora, people mark the Lunar New Year with similar traditions. Cleaning the house; paying off debts; purchasing new, brightly colored clothing; and placing symbols of good luck around the home are common preparations for Lunar New Year celebrations. Preparing and sharing food is another thread that ties together Lunar New Year celebrations across the world.
How do you prepare for and celebrate the New Year?
Explore the resources in this packet to learn more about how the Lunar New Year is celebrated around the world.
The museum celebrates cultures from across Asia all year long. Learn more about our other Cultural Celebrations.