The Lunar Calendar
Lunar New Year celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional lunar calendar. Commonly referred to as the Spring Festival, cultures across Asia celebrate Lunar New Year with their own varied customs and traditions. Each year, the lunar calendar is represented by one the 12 zodiacs – which are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.
The first day of the festival begins on the first new moon of the lunar calendar, which varies year to year, depending on the cycles of the moon. Generally, the holiday lands between January 21st and February 20th, and lasts 15 days from New Year’s Eve to the 15th day of the New Year. Traditionally, New Year’s eve and New Year’s day are reserved for family celebrations, including religious ceremonies to honor ancestors. Communities celebrate with cultural dances, fireworks, and plenty of traditional foods such as niang gao (sticky rice cake) and fish, to symbolize a surplus in luck and wealth.