Celebrating Around The World: The Joy of Lunar New Year!
New Year is celebrated as a new and fresh start. Out with the old and everything in the previous year, while getting ready for a new beginning. Lunar New Year is different from the Gregorian calendar and typically falls on different days within January and February every year.
The Lunar New Year is celebrated all over the world. People typically use the Chinese New Year and Lunar New Year synonymously, but Asian culture is diverse. The Chinese New Year is based on the Chinese Lunar Calendar, and the Lunar New Year is based on cycles of phases of the moon.
Lunar New Year is widely celebrated by many Asian countries, with similarities and differences in their traditions based on culture. Typically East Asian nations celebrate Lunar New Year between late January and early February. In comparison, Southeast Asians and South Asians celebrate between late March and early April.
During this 15-day celebration, people prepare for the new year by cleaning their homes, getting new clothes and their hair done. Festivities include food, colors, gifts, and fellowshipping with family.
The Lion dancer’s dance is a tradition in many Asian cultures. They dance away all of the bad things from the past and welcome the new year. The Lion dancers are present in Chinese, Vietnamese, Indonesian and more celebrations.
Gifts are also a custom in Asian Culture for Lunar New Year. Small gifts of money typically in red envelopes are customary in Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Taiwan, and more. Koreans often give money in silk pouches.
During the Lunar New Year, people wear traditional attire. 'Áo Dài' is the traditional Vietnamese dress, Hanbok is Korean Traditional attire, and in China, they wear a lot of red. Typically they wear red cause it celebrates prosperity and wealth. There are also a lot of red decorations because red is the color of happiness.
(Source: Karon Liu/Toronto Star)
Families also have a feast and celebrate around food. New Year dishes are very symbolic.
Chinese people eat dumplings because it symbolizes prosperity and fish for surplus. In South Korea, tteokguk is eaten for good luck. Bánh tét is eaten in Vietnam to represent the moon.
There is so much more that encompasses Lunar New Year and how Asian countries globally celebrate it. Highlighting these similarities and differences in the same holiday illustrates the diversity of Asian culture and its importance for a holistic representation.
Healthy Roots Dolls believes representation matters for all people and how important it is for storybooks and toys to celebrate the beauty of our diversity. Asian culture is diverse and should be respected and celebrated globally as we all celebrate Lunar New Year.
Happy Lunar New Year!