When is New Year 2023? When is vacation and what does it mean?
For some, the new year begins with the calendar change from December 31st to January 1st. But there are many others who celebrate the New Year on a different day. The Lunar New Year is an international holiday celebrated in many Asian countries, but not all, and the United States even has its own celebration.
Unlike the Western New Year, the Lunar New Year’s date changes depending on the year. But regardless of the date, every culture that celebrates the Lunar New Year has enduring customs, traditions, and beliefs.
Around two billion people around the world celebrate the Lunar New Year. Here’s what you need to know about Lunar New Year 2023: when it is, how long it will last, and what the Year of the Rabbit represents.
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When is New Year 2023?
Lunar New Year will be on January 22, 2023.
How long is the New Year festival?
Unlike the Western New Year, the Lunar New Year lasts more than one day. The number of festival days depends on the culture. Some observations are longer than others.
The lunar new year is based on a different calendar than the Gregorian calendar used by many Western countries, including the United States. The calendar is based on the 12 phases of the moon. Each phase lasts about 29 days, and the full calendar is about 354 days long.
In China, the Lunar New Year lasts from the new moon to the next full moon. That’s a fifteen-day period to the fifth day of the lunar month, said Xiaoquan Raphael Zhang, director of the Chinese program at American University.
In 2023, the lunar new year begins on Sunday, January 22nd and ends on Sunday, February 5th.
The first day of the lunar new year is called the Spring Festival, and the last day is the Lantern Festival in Chinese culture, Zhang said.
Who celebrates the Lunar New Year?
The Lunar New Year is celebrated in many Asian cultures, Zhang said. Among them are the Chinese, South Korean, Vietnamese, Singaporean, Malaysian, Filipino and Indonesian cultures.
Also, everyone has their own name for the New Year. For example, in South Korea, the Lunar New Year is called Seollal. In Vietnam, Lunar New Year is called Tết, short for Tết Nguyên Đán.
The number of public holidays also varies by country. In South Korea, Seollal usually lasts three days, while the Lunar New Year in China lasts 15 days. In Vietnam, Tết Nguyên Đán lasts one week.
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What does Lunar New Year mean?
Much like how people celebrate December 31st and January 1st each year, the Lunar New Year represents letting go of the past year to bring in the new with all its possibilities.
“This is a big celebration,” Zhang said. “Say goodbye to the past year and welcome in the new year; peace, abundance and also prosperity.”
Another important aspect of Lunar New Year is community. Families come together to eat feasts and practice cultural customs.
For example, people will clean their houses to get rid of the bad luck of the past year. In China, there is a tradition of eating fish as it is a sign of good fortune and abundance, Zhang said. But the fish isn’t ready yet, as the leftovers are said to bring extra money, savings or surplus for the new year.
It is also important for families to show respect for older generations. Likewise, the elders will give to the younger generations for health and progress in the new year. In many cultures, younger people are given red envelopes containing money.
“They want to give something to the younger generation and show their kindness,” Zhang said.
“This family reunion, which signifies peace, abundance and prosperity, also brings with it people waiting for the whole community, the whole country, to be peaceful.”
What does the Year of the Rabbit represent?
There are 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac; each with its own attributes and characteristics. These 12 animals coincide with the lunar calendar and fall within a 12 year cycle.
The order of the Chinese zodiac is:
- Rabbit (in Vietnam, the rabbit is replaced by the cat)
The final year, 2022, was represented by the tiger, commonly associated with bravery, courage and strength. This year, 2023, will be the year of the rabbit.
“People believe that people born this year will bear something of the nature or property of these animals,” Zhang said.
To the Rabbit, people born in their year are considered caring, attentive to detail and likely to follow rules, he said. They are also said to be successful in their careers and good at making friends.