Happy Lunar New Year
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Lunar New Year 2022: Welcoming the Year of the Tiger
Video from Scholastic - Education for Kids
Lunar New Year is one of the most important celebrations of the year and while it is based on the Chinese lunar calendar, this holiday is also celebrated in Korea, Singapore, Mongolia, Tibet, Vietnam and in Asian communities worldwide. The New Year celebration is usually celebrated for multiple days—not just one day as in the Gregorian calendar’s New Year. In 2022, Lunar New Year begins on February 1.
China’s Lunar New Year is known as the Spring Festival or Chūnjié in Mandarin, while Koreans call it Seollal and Vietnamese refer to it as Tết.
While it is celebrated differently across different Asian cultures, the holiday is traditionally a time to honor ancestors and deities, with family reunions, parades, feasts, and fireworks to drive off evil spirits. The New Year typically begins with the first new moon that occurs between the end of January and spans the first 15 days of the first month of the lunar calendar—until the full moon arrives.
Each year in the Lunar calendar is represented by one of 12 zodiac animals, which include the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. In addition to the animals, five elements of earth, water, fire, wood and metal are also mapped onto the traditional lunar calendar. Each year is associated with an animal that corresponds to an element.
In Asian cultures, the tiger -- not the lion -- is considered the king of the jungle, so people born during a Tiger Year are thought to be brave and natural leaders.
Joining the tiger in Google's Doodle are peach blossoms, traditional foods that represent good fortune and Chinese lanterns, which typically decorate houses and public places as a symbol of hope and joy.
Lunar New Year Foods and Traditions
Each culture celebrates the Lunar New Year differently with various foods and traditions that symbolize prosperity, abundance and togetherness. In preparation for the Lunar New Year, houses are thoroughly cleaned to rid them of inauspicious spirits, which might have collected during the old year. Cleaning is also meant to open space for good will and good luck.
Some households hold rituals to offer food and paper icons to ancestors. Others post red paper and banners inscribed with calligraphy messages of good health and fortune in front of, and inside, homes. Elders give out envelopes containing money to children. Foods made from glutinous rice are commonly eaten, as these foods represent togetherness. Other foods symbolize prosperity, abundance and good luck.
See below for information on how Lunar New Year celebrations look (or taste) through Chinese, Vietnamese, North Korean, and South Korean cultures:
Lunar New Year Greetings
Cultures celebrating Lunar New Year have different ways of greeting each other during the holiday. In Mandarin, a common way to wish family and close friends a happy New Year is “Xīnnián hǎo,” meaning “New Year Goodness” or “Good New Year.” Another greeting is “Xīnnián kuàilè,” meaning "Happy New Year."
Traditional greetings during Tết in Vietnam are “Chúc Mừng Năm Mới” (Happy New Year) and “Cung Chúc Tân Xuân” (gracious wishes of the new spring). For Seollal, South Koreans commonly say "Saehae bok mani badeuseyo” (May you receive lots of luck in the new year), while North Koreans say "Saehaereul chuckhahabnida” (Congratulations on the new year).
- Scholastic News (Lunar New Year for Kids | Educational Video)
- Cnet News (Google Doodle welcomes Lunar New Year 2022: the Year of the Tiger)
- History.com (Lunar New Year 2022)