Did you know that Lunar New Year (Chinese New Year) will be on Sunday 22nd January this year? This huge event comes at the start of the lunar calendar – which is why the dates seem to change every year according to our Gregorian calendar- and is a long celebration for families and friends most commonly from Asian countries. However, this has grown over the years and is now often found in far more countries all across the world.
|| What is this year’s animal?
Each year is dedicated to a particular animal and 2023 is the year of the Rabbit; specifically the water Rabbit. Check out what animal sign you are based on the year you were born and see if this year is lucky for you!
For example, our colleague Alan Ng is born in the year of the Dragon, this will be a very lucky year for him. 2023 is predicted to show good fortune to Dragon with a variety of successes in their wealth and love as hard work will get them through the tougher challenges this year may cause them.
There are many ways you could experience luck and this is a huge part of the culture and meaning behind Lunar New year. Although its exact origin date is not known, many believe it began in the Shang Dynasty (1600–1046 BC), and dates back around 3,500 years. Through those years, generations of people have welcomed the new year by wishing luck, wealth, and good fortune to loved ones in a whole host of exciting ways!
|| What do people do for Lunar New year?
You may have heard of “Lai see” which are red envelopes given to children, friends, co-workers etc which contain a small amount of money to bring good luck and wealth. These gifts are commonly given to those around you and have taken a more modern twist as apps and digital ‘red envelopes’ are used to share this tradition beyond the threshold of your home. It’s been an easy and fun way for people to continue this tradition in a modern world.
Traditions vary depending on where Lunar New year is being celebrated, however, a common theme for everyone is to reconnect with family and dedicate time with them to feast and celebrate. Years ago it was more common, however, it is still practiced today, that the start of the celebrations are spent honouring your ancestors and praying to gods. It may be a little less followed these days, but it was believed to bring a lot of bad luck if you didn’t respect these traditions in the past! Importantly though, the whole celebratory period is about enjoying life and welcoming the new fortune of a new year.
Fireworks, lion dancing, eating, and more are just some of the wonderful ways in which many of south and southeast Asian countries (and now many more western cultures) celebrate Lunar New year. China is one of the largest countries to celebrate of course, and with a population of 1.4 billion people which is roughly just under 20% of the world population, it is no surprise to the incredible size and popularity of this new year event each year.
So, celebrate this weekend as the year starts on Sunday 22nd of January! Look for your animal year and find out what fortune you will discover in 2023. Join the billions of people enjoying these long and vibrant celebrations as it typically runs across 15 days. That’s a lot of time to eat, dance, and experience the good luck of a Lunar New year!
One more thing you can say during the Lunar new year is ‘Kung Hei Fat Choy’ meaning Happy & Prosperous.