Marking the first new moon of calendars traditional to many East Asian countries, Lunar New Year is a multi-day celebration of luck, health and togetherness celebrated by billions of people around the world. February 12 marks this year’s festivities, beckoning in the Year of the Ox according to the Chinese zodiac. And while this year’s celebrations may be at home this year, the rich traditions of this holiday aren’t going anywhere. Learn more with these ideas below.
How Lunar New Year came to be
The legends behind the Lunar New Year date back thousands of years. The tale goes that at the beginning of each new year, there was a monster that attacked a village. The monster was afraid of loud noise, bright lights and the color red, so the villagers banded together to scare it off by hosting loud celebrations and wearing red. Each year is represented by a different animal, the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac, with this year represented by the ox, which symbolizes patience and cheerfulness. The Chinese zodiac has been adopted by many countries throughout Asia. Lunar New Year is celebrated in a variety of ways across different Asian cultures. For example, in China, the celebration is often called the Spring Festival, in Tibet it’s known as Losar, and in Vietnam, it’s called Tết. It’s widely celebrated amongst the Asian diaspora all over the world, making it a truly global holiday.