Chinese Lunar New Year


A, 18, is a student at USC. He is a French citizen of Chinese descent; he told me about how his family celebrated Lunar New Year when he visited China. He told me he grew up in France, so he seldom celebrated this tradition, only when he was in China back when he was young.  


Chinese Lunar New Year is celebrated on the second new moon after the winter solstice, so it’s usually around the end of January or the beginning of February. Every Lunar New Year is about a different zodiac animal, this is the year of the rabbit (2023). We usually wear red or red clothes and use traditional Chinese red paper lamps. We also put up fish posters to symbolize wealth in China, we put them on walls and doors to bring good fortune. We eat dumplings and blow-up firecrackers and fireworks.


Chinese Lunar New Year is a very common celebration among the Chinese diaspora throughout the world. It celebrates the New Year, and just like many other cultures, it lines up with the life cycle calendar beginning with spring (birth) and ending in winter (death). It is a liminal time between two cycles, so it is a magical time outside of the norm filled with superstitions, feasts, and celebrations. This festival is annually celebrated, as one might assume by its name; however, contrastively to the Solar year and Gregorian Calendar, this festival aligns with the Lunar Calendar, which is why it is on a different day every year. The rituals and superstitions that are celebrated during this festival often are practiced to bring good luck; similar to most cultures around the world that also have “good fortune” superstitions during their new year celebrations as well.