The Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is a significant festival celebrated in China and other East Asian countries. It marks the beginning of the new year on the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar. The date of the Lunar New Year varies every year but is usually between January 21st and February 20th
Where is the Lunar New Year celebrated?
This celebration is observed in many countries, including China, South Korea, Vietnam, and other East Asian countries. The festival is celebrated with regional customs and traditions that vary widely, but share the same theme – seeing out the old year and welcoming in the luck and prosperity of a new year.
How is the Lunar New Year celebrated?
In South Korea, Seollal (Lunar New Year) is the biggest holiday of the year and is celebrated with a feast shared with family. Many Korean families gather in hanbok, Traditional Korean clothes, where the younger generation performs saebae – the act of bowing deeply with respect to wish a happy new year to elders while saying Saehae bok mani badsaeyo. In return, elders gift envelopes filled with money along with a blessing.
Tet or Tet Nguyen Dan – the Vietnamese name for the Lunar New Year – marks a time of renewal and celebration. Families start with cleaning their homes and purchasing new clothes symbolizing fresh starts and new beginnings. Children receive ‘lucky money’ – lì xì – along with wishes for growth and success. Families and friends greet each other by saying ‘chúc mừng năm mới’- ‘Happy New Year’ and share traditional meals including bánh chưng, a sticky rice cake filled with mung beans and pork.
In China, the Lunar New Year is celebrated by putting up decorations, eating reunion dinner with family on New Year’s Eve, giving red envelopes and other gifts, lighting fireworks, and watching lion and dragon dances. One popular tradition includes preparing and eating a whole fish (head and tail intact) as part of the New Year dinner. The word for ‘whole fish’ in Chinese (quán yú), is similar to the pronunciation of the word ‘surplus’ or ‘abundance’ (shèngyú), resulting in a play on words. The 15th day of the new year marks the end of the Lunar New Year and the celebration of the Lantern Festival. On this day families make and eat a rice ball soup as a symbol of their reunion in the new year.
Where can I celebrate the Lunar New Year in Rockville?
Lunar New Year Celebration Every year, the City of Rockville hosts a free annual Lunar New Year celebration, inviting all community members to celebrate with performances, interactive displays, and more! Learn more at https://www.rockvillemd.gov/730/Lunar-New-Year
Rockville Town Square Lunar New Year Celebration
This free annual celebration welcomes families to Rockville Town Square to enjoy live performances, local vendors, red envelope giveaways, drumming, lion and dragon dance, and more! Learn more at https://rockvilletownsquare.com/events-news/
Indulge in Lunar New Year traditional foods from local restaurants and supermarkets including: