Lunar New Year 2024

Lunar New Year 2024

This February 10th is the start of Lunar New Year; the start of the new year on the lunar calendar. This festival is also known as the Spring Festival because it marks the end of winter and beginning of spring. Additionally, 2024 will be the year of the dragon, which comes fifth of the 12-year-cycle of animals on the Chinese zodiac that relates to the Chinese calendar. Today, I will delve into how the Lunar new year is celebrated and what the meanings of the Chinese zodiac signs are.

Each year, Lunar New Year is celebrated in China, and it is one of the most important festivals for Chinese people. However, it is also widely celebrated in other countries such as South Korea, Vietnam, and countries with a Chinese population. The date of the festival is the second new moon after the winter solstice that takes place December 21st. Because of that, the date of Lunar New Year changes each year, but is generally between January 21st and February 20th. Additionally, the color red is commonly used and found in east Asian cultures, and it symbolizes good luck and prosperity.

To understand how people celebrate this festival I spoke with a Chinese junior at Green Level High School named Brianna Hong. She explained, “I usually celebrate Lunar New Year by going to the Vietnamese temple with my family to pray for buddha. It is also tradition for family and friends to gift red envelopes with money inside. It symbolizes good wishes and luck for the new year ahead.” Brianna also mentioned that her zodiac sign was the boar, but what does that mean?

Each of the animals in the zodiac have character traits attached to them, and each year that a person is born, they are assigned one of the 12 zodiac signs. Additionally, Chinese people believe that their Chinese zodiac sign is closely aligned with their personality and love. Those who fall under this year’s Chinese zodiac, the dragon, include those born in: 2036, 2024, 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964, 1952… It is said that those born in the dragon years are courageous, confident, and possess enthusiasm. For this Lunar New Year, it is forecasted that 2024 will bring opportunities, changes, and challenges. 

Next, I interviewed another Green Level High School sophomore, Emily Zhu, who explained, “Chinese New Year is a great holiday where I spend time with people in my Chinese community! Each year, we wear red for good luck, make dumplings, eat noodles together, and my church puts on a Chinese New Year show. It is also tradition to exchange red envelopes with money inside!” These Lunar New Year traditions are very common for Chinese Americans, and they keep the Chinese culture alive.

In conclusion, though Lunar New Year is a Chinese holiday, anyone can celebrate it and learn more about the history and culture behind it. If you have any additional questions about the traditions during Lunar New Year, you can always speak with another Chinese individual or do more personal research. Happy 2024 Lunar New Year!

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