As the first day of the Chinese calendar, February 1, 2022, marks the beginning of the Lunar New Year. The significance of this event is not limited to Asia, but also to other countries where this Chinese tradition is respected and celebrated. Parades, chants, and outdoor celebrations are common during this time, but they have been suspended in several territories due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
cleansing the timeline with a baby panda party for the Lunar New Year pic.twitter.com/3zxGVRiVv6
— NPR (@NPR) January 25, 2022
There is a lot of confusion about whether the Lunar New Year and the Chinese New Year are the same things. The answer is yes, they are the same thing. The lunar new year begins with the rising of the second new moon after the winter solstice. Some communities call it the Spring Festival. The activities are designed to say goodbye to the old year while attracting luck and abundance for the new period that is about to start.
Celebrating around the world
East Asian countries also celebrate the new year according to the same lunar calendar. The festival is called Tt Nguyên án or Tt, which means First Day First Morning Festival. They decorate their houses with fresh flowers, such as peach blossoms and kumquats. Peach blossoms symbolize energy, and kumquats symbolize prosperity.
North and South Korea celebrate Seollal, which lasts for three days. Families in Korea serve food to their ancestors in a ritual called Charye, to gain their blessings for the year ahead. People in South Korea pay up to $75 for gift baskets containing canned meat during the New Year holidays.
When Lunar New Year and the first day of Black History Month fall on the same day pic.twitter.com/hFz8KkS3zN
— Wanda Sykes (@iamwandasykes) February 1, 2022
The city of New York holds a firecracker ceremony, during which approximately 600,000 fireworks are set off. Afterward, lion dances and parades will be held in Chinatown.
The Singaporean street parade Chingay features floats, colorful costumes, live performances, and fireworks. Manchester has one of the UK’s oldest and largest Chinese communities, and its 53-meter-long dragon is paraded through the streets to Chinatown on New Year’s Day.
Latin American cities like Buenos Aires, Havana, and Mexico City, among many others, also celebrate the Chinese New Year with their own activities and celebrations.