2024 Lunar New Year: See photos of Asian communities celebrating
Lunar New Year, one of the most important celebrations in Asian culture, marks the start of a new calendar year with family gatherings and a day of rest. It is also known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival. Worldwide, millions of people celebrate it.
The Lunar New Year begins today on February 10 and ends with the Lantern Festival on February 24. In China, this year the public holiday runs from February 10 to February 17.
The Chinese zodiac, or sheng xiao (生肖), is a repeating 12-year cycle of animal signs and their traits based on the lunars calendar. An animal becomes a new one during the Lunar New Year. We call this year the year of the dragon.
Beginning with the first new moon of the lunars calendar, the lunar new year begins, and ends 15 days later at the first full moon. Every year, the holiday is celebrated on a different date because the calendar is based on the lunars cycle.
According to tradition, many families place red paper decorations on windows and doors with the couple, also called chunlian. Written in black or gold on red paper, the couple are placed outside Asian homes with messages of gratitude and New Year greetings, explains the National Museum of Asian Art.
The holiday begins with the spread of symbolic dishes on Lunar New Year’s Eve. Many people who celebrate this holiday eat a whole fish which represents abundance which brings good luck and fortune.
It’s the Year of the Dragon: Your Guide to the Lunar New Year Is Here