Celebrating Lunar New Year

12 February 2021

Today is Lunar New Year, also called Spring Festival. It begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends on the first full moon of the lunar calendar, 15 days later. The lunar calendar is based on the cycles of the moon, so the dates of the holiday vary slightly from year to year, beginning some time between January 21 and February 20 according to Western calendars.

Traditionally about 10 days before the beginning of the new lunar year, houses are thoroughly cleaned as a symbolic gesture of removing any bad omens and inviting new and refreshing energy, moods, thoughts and feelings. New Year’s celebrations include religious ceremonies honouring ancestors. Also on New Year’s day, family members receive red envelopes containing gifts of money. Dances and fireworks are prevalent throughout the holidays, culminating in the Lantern Festival, which is celebrated on the last day of the New Year’s celebrations. On this night colourful lanterns light up houses, and traditional foods like yuanxiao (sticky rice balls that symbolize family unity), fagao (prosperity cake), and yusheng (raw fish and vegetable salad) are enjoyed.

We wish you a happy, bountiful and peaceful Year of the Ox.