What to know about Lunar New Year: The Year of the Rabbit


Lunar New Years via Gettys Image

Beijing, the Capital of China, residents celebrating the Lunar New Year 2023

Lunar New Year, commonly known as Chinese New Year, is an annual celebration of new beginnings, enjoyment, and happiness. This is celebrated by many people around the globe, popularized by being one of the most important festivals in Asian culture. From the dragon dances to the red envelopes, Chinese New Year’s customs and traditions are truly unique, offering a fascinating insight into Chinese culture and history.

Lunar New Year is from January 22nd to February 5th this year. Every year is given symbolic Chinese zodiac and this year is ‘The Year of The Rabbit.’ The rabbit symbolizes longevity, peace, and prosperity in Chinese culture meaning that this is year is predicted to be a year full of hope.

While Lunar New Year represents a new beginning, there are many superstitions that haven’t changed because people still believe in them to keep the new year great every single day. It is tradition that washing your hair and washing your clothes the day lunar new year starts is said to “wash away your good luck.”

There are also superstitions that are continued throughout the whole celebration period such as ‘no crying’; it means that it brings in bad luck to the new year. While some of these ‘rules’ seem foolish, there are still many people who celebrate and follow every single one of these to keep their year as lucky as possible.

The first day of this annual celebration is often filled with bright red decorations which is connected to it’s meaning of luck. This is why many older family members, give the younger generations red envelopes, known as 红包 (hong bao) in Mandarin. These are usually filled with money to ward off evil spirits. The red envelopes are common through their culture being not only used during Lunar New Year but also at weddings, family gatherings, and other holidays.

The festivals are filled with laughing, cheering, socializing and the most beautiful dances. One dance that is the most popular is a dragon dance where people use this huge dragon. It is known to ward off evil spirits, bring luck, and blessings to the community due to it being a symbol of China’s culture. Therefore the longer the dance is, the longer everyone has luck in their year.

Even though this holiday is mainly a part of Chinese culture, it is still celebrated by many Asian countries such as Vietnam, Korea, the Philippines and even in Western countries such as the United States.

“Family being together is the best part of Lunar New Year,” says Conner Lew, senior at Sunny Hills High School . He also states that doing the small superstitions shows “…many people want this year to be a great year…”

By keeping tradition going, participating members show their respect to many ancestors that unfortunately can not physically celebrate with their families. They continue the orgin of this festival as it originally observed as a time to honor household and heavenly deities and ancestors.” Their beloved ancestors are believed to celebrate with them in spirit.

To all, have a happy Lunar New Year and praying for good luck for you all, in this Year of The Rabbit.