Although the new year 2018 began over a month ago, it’s almost time for another New Year celebration, this time for the Year of the Dog on February 16th. Chinese New Year falls on a different date every year due to the discrepancies between the western Gregorian calendar and the lunar calendar used by China and other seat Asian countries. Did you know that in Vietnam, the Lunar New Year is known as Tet? If you’ve never celebrated CNY before, let’s find out more about it together.
Why the Date Changes
Every year in America, January 1st is acknowledged as the first day of a new year. This convention is widely recognized across the world as well. But some cultures, particularly those that predate the societies of the western hemisphere, mark their own new year’s celebrations at different points in the year. As we mentioned above, the lunar calendar is the biggest determining factor, although Chinese New Year typically occurs between January 21st and February 20th.
What You to Do to Prepare
Spring cleaning is a tradition we often observe by cleaning up our homes after winter has ended. But in China and the other countries that follow the lunar calendar, spring cleaning is a time for renewal; after all, Chinese New Year is also known as the spring festival. The cleaning process begins the week before the actual new year as a way of leaving the previous year behind and giving the imminent one a fresh start.
Some Other Traditions
Staying up late: We all enjoy staying up late to have fun at parties and watch the festivities on TV. The same could be said of everyone living in China. A reunion dinner is a banquet meant to reconnect family and friends and then everyone gathers to watch the Spring Festival Gala, which is basically the equivalent of New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, from a certain point of view.
Setting off firecrackers: Fireworks are a traditional part of celebrating Chinese New Year, as is setting off firecrackers. If you think the displays you’ve seen growing up are spectacular, they don’t compare to the shows you’d find in Hong Kong, Taiwan, or Mainland China.
Giving gifts: CNY is often compared to Christmas because of the time spent with families and the tradition of giving gifts. The red envelopes given by older relatives to younger relatives are filled with money and are meant to bestow good fortune on the recipient; this is because red is considered a lucky color.
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Lotte Plaza Market is your one-stop shop for all of your Korean and Asian grocery needs. With more than 10 locations in Maryland and Virginia, this growing market is always expanding and opening new markets to serve our customers better. Opened since 1976, our goal has always been to provide the best customer service and groceries to our customers. For answers to all of your questions, email us at LottePlaza.com.