Countries That Celebrate Lunar New Year (Culture Explained)

A famous old story apprised by legends about villagers fighting against a mythical beast called Nain, who came on the first day of the New Year and ate all the livestock, crops, and kids.

In order to get rid of it, the villagers kept food outside the home entrance in the hope that the monster would not attack the people. However, later it was found that the monster was afraid that the Color and loud noise would terrify the monster. So, let’s get to know about the countries that celebrate lunar new year.

Are you curious about the different countries that celebrate Lunar New Year? Well, in this article, we’ll be taking a look at some of the most popular celebrations around the world.

From China to Vietnam, we’ll be sharing the details on each country’s unique Lunar New Year celebration. So whether you’re looking to learn about a new culture or celebrate a holiday that’s close to your heart, read on to learn more!

Top Countries That Celebrate Lunar New Year

Countries That Celebrate Lunar New Year

Since then, the Lunar New Year is celebrated in many countries of the world in a grand way in the hope that the monster will not come to attack them, and thus the new year will bring good fortune, health and wellbeing. Lunar New Year is also known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival.

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According to the Chinese Lunar calendar, each year, the Lunar New Year is celebrated in countries like China, Taiwan, South Korea, North Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. The Chinese zodiac has 12 animals, each year named after one animal.

The world’s biggest New Year celebration

The world's biggest New Year celebration

The world’s biggest New Year celebration is of course the New Year’s Eve celebration in London. It is a massive event that attracts millions of people from all around the world. Here are some of the highlights of this event:

  1. The parade – The parade is a spectacular sight that features more than 100,000 participants and takes place over a distance of 5 kilometers.
  2. The fireworks display – This is one of the most popular parts of the celebration and it can be seen from all over London. The display lasts for about an hour and it is sure to leave you awe-struck!
  3. The illuminations – This is another amazing part of the celebration and it sees parts of central London turn into a magical wonderland.
  4. The concert – After all the excitement has died down, there is always room for a concert to get everyone in the festive mood. This year, stars such as Coldplay and Katy Perry are scheduled to perform!

How does the Lunar New Year money-giving tradition work?

The Lunar New Year money-giving tradition is a time-honored tradition that is practiced by many people around the world. During the Lunar New Year, families and friends traditionally gather together to exchange gifts and celebrate the new year.

Usually, people give money to each other as a way of expressing their gratitude. They may also give food or other items that are symbolically important to them. In some cases, people will give money in order to help their friends or family members during difficult times.

The Lunar New Year is one of the most important times of the year for many people, and it is an excellent opportunity to build relationships and strengthen family ties. So, whether you’re celebrating with your friends or family, don’t forget to give them a gift!

OACC celebrates the Lunar New Year differently

OACC celebrates the Lunar New Year differently

The OACC celebrates the Lunar New Year differently this year. In lieu of the traditional firecracker and dragon dance performances, the OACC has invitedlocal artist and curator Liang Fang to stage a multimedia installation exploring both the cultural and environmental significance of firecrackers and dragons.

This exhibition, which will be on view from February 16 to March 31, is free and open to the public.

How to Participate in the Lunar New Year?

Lunar New Year is a great time to reflect on your past year and make resolutions for the coming one. It’s also a great opportunity to connect with family and friends, celebrate Chinese culture, and taste traditional delicacies.

Here are a few tips to help you participate in the Lunar New Year in the best possible way:

  1. Prepare your celebratory feast – Make sure to have plenty of rice dumplings, soy sauce chicken, and other yummy treats on hand to celebrate with your loved ones.
  2. Start planning your trip – Make arrangements to visit family or friends in China during the Lunar New Year. This will allow you to enjoy all the festivities in style.
  3. Get in touch with your Chinese roots – Lunar New Year is synonymous with family reunions, cultural celebrations, and lots of food! Joining in on these traditions will help you connect more deeply with your heritage and roots.
  4. Be patient – The Lunar New Year celebrations can be quite long and rigorous, so be prepared for some late nights and long days! But don’t worry – it’s all worth it when you finally get to see all your loved ones again and celebrate in style!

How Southeast Asian Countries Celebrate Chinese New Year

How Southeast Asian Countries Celebrate Chinese New Year
DRNF1A Manila, Phillipines. 30th January 2014. Street performers carry their dragon around firecrackers in Chinatown Manila a day before the Chinese New Year on January 30, 2014. Lucky charms, fruits, street performers and firecrackers were seen around Chinatown in Manila, a day before the celebration of the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Horse. Photo by Mark Cristino/Alamy Live News

East and Southeast Asia are home to a large population of people of Chinese descent, and as such, many countries in the region celebrate Chinese New Year in different ways. Here are a few of the most popular celebrations:

  1. Singapore celebrates Chinese New Year with lion dancing and parades.
  2. Malaysia celebrates Chinese New Year with a big parade and fireworks show.
  3. The Philippines celebrates Chinese New Year with a lot of food, including egg tarts and duck tongues.
  4. Cambodia celebrates Chinese New Year by cleaning and preparing temples for the new year.
  5. Thailand celebrates Chinese New Year by lighting fireworks and having a party.

Does Cambodia Celebrate Lunar New Year?

Yes, Cambodia does celebrate Lunar New Year.

The lunar calendar is based on the cycles of the moon, and the year in Cambodia is divided into 12 months with 31 days each.

January-March are known as “Water Month”, April-June are “Wooden Month”, July-September are “Earth Month”, October-December are “Metals Month”, and January-March again are “Water Month”.

The New Year is celebrated on the first day of the Earth Month, which this year is February 16th. The festival is usually observed in mid-February or early March and celebrates the new year on the lunar calendar.

There are a lot of traditional festivities associated with the holiday, including offering sacrifices to gods and eating special food.

New Year is not celebrated on January 1 in 5 countries

This is a common misconception that many people seem to have. In fact, January 1 is actually the anniversary of the founding of the United States of America, not the New Year. Therefore, in 5 countries – Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and Peru – New Year’s Day is actually celebrated on December 25.

Thank you for your question! It is true that the New Year is not celebrated on January 1 in five countries – they are: Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, and the United States of America. This tradition has roots in various religious beliefs, and as such, varies from country to country.

This is incorrect. The first day of the year is actually January 1 in every country, including America, Canada, Mexico, Peru and Chile. The New Year is actually celebrated on the first Sunday of January, regardless of what day of the week it falls on

China

China

In China, the Lunar New Year is celebrated in a lavish way, as it is the biggest holiday of the year. The year begins when the new moon appears, which is named after one animal according to the Chinese zodiac.

As China is a large country, it has several traditions which vary from region to region and family to family. However, there are some widely common practices that are performed almost in every household.

As it is the biggest holiday season, people go back to their hometown to celebrate the New Year with their parents and friends.

Around 3 billion people travel to their hometown to celebrate the festival. It is the most precious time to get reunited with family and old friends.

Creating homemade ‘duilian’ (rhyming couplets) and hanging it at the entrance door of the house is one of the most common popular traditions.

In the duilian, two lines are antithetical yet contain complimentary words that bring good fortune to the home and its residents. For creating a duilian red paper, black ink and a paint brush are used strictly.

Especially for the Lunar New Year people clean their house from top to bottom thoroughly. They believe that through cleaning, they will sweep away all the dust and bad memories and will welcome the new year with endless fortune and possibilities.

A special feast is organized for the New Year occasion, which of course varies from region to region. Nevertheless, ‘jiao zi’, which is widely known as dumplings, is made almost in all households.

The family gets involved in making the dumplings. In some households, they put freshly washed coins inside the dumpling. The person who gets that dumpling will have good fortune all around the year.

Shopping malls are crowded as it is the festive season. People buy new clothes, accessories, candies, flowers and stuff for decorations.

Red is an optimistic colour for this festival. Thus people try to wear any red clothing as they believe that the colour red brings fortune.

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The entire country is glamoured with flowers and street lights. Different public festivals and fairs are organized along with street performances for entertaining the people.

Lion dance and dragon dance are performed during the day time. At night lantern shows are arranged with fireworks for the amusement of the people.

Taiwan

Taiwan

Lunar New Year is the biggest and culturally most important holiday in the country. This holiday sometimes lasts up to 9 days, as the Lunar New Year festival continues until the lantern festival that takes place on the 15th day of the lunar calendar. The entire island gets into a festive and happy mood.

To enjoy the festival with their dear ones, people travel to their ancestral home for a family reunion. People visit their relatives and close friends to celebrate the new year.

In all the households, they put a ‘chunlian’ at the entrance, which symbolizes good luck. In Taiwan, it is called the spring couplet.

Chunlian is painted with a wise message or short poem. It is essential to remove the previous chunlian and replace it with a fresh new one.

The new year special meal is served in the evening which is enjoyed with the family. Each dish holds a specific significance that brings good fortune and well being.

Through sharing foods, they make new memories and share experiences. In the modern era people do not like to take all the hustle for preparing meals and clean dishes after the meal, so they dine in the restaurants with family and friends.

On the first day of the year, many people visit temples and pray for wellbeing, good fortune, health, prosperity and good luck.

Second is special for the married women, as they visit their parents home and spend the day with them. Third and fourth days are additional opportunities for going out, eating, watching street performances and relaxing.

A special activity for the children is to receive red envelopes from grandparents and parents. This is a fun tradition for the children, as the elder member of the family gives them a red envelope that carries money in it.

Cities are decorated along with the market and shopping malls. The market pops out as people shop for the Lunar New Year.

Dihua streets transform into a massive Lunar market, as they sell red decorations and a wide variety of foods, candies and flowers. All types of products related to the New Year tradition are available in the special Lunar market.

South Korea

South Korea

South Korean call the Lunar New Year Seollal. They celebrate the new year on the first day of the lunar calendar, as they have done for several years. In the present time, many people celebrate the new year following the solar calendar. That’s why Korean people living abroad celebrate two new years.

Lunar New Year is a three-day event in South Korea. Most people celebrate the occasion with their family, relatives and old friends, also through showing respect to the ancestor.

Koreans start their new year by showing respect to their ancestors and reconnecting with family.

They wear their traditional outfit ‘hanbok’ and perform ceremonial rituals ‘seh bae’ (deep bow down to the floor)to show respect to the elders and ancestors.

After the completion of seh bae ritual, they offer food and drinks to the spirits of the ancestors. Children receive blessings, money and wise wisdoms from the elders.

In the Lunar New Year, Koreans highly encourage family bonding. Of course, family times vary from family to family, as some families bond through playing varieties of traditional outdoor games like; kite-flying, noltigi and yutnori.

The young generation must visit their relatives that live close and wish them for the new year.

Colors necessarily play an important role in the occasion of the Lunar New Year. Starting from decorating for the new year to wearing a dress maintaining an appropriate color, the significance of colors is highly prioritized.

Everything should be of bright and vivid colors. Red symbolizes passion and good luck. Green, yellow and other bright colors are also encouraged to wear on Seollal.

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The traditional meal is arranged for the celebration of the new year, consisting of ‘duk guk’ or soup of thinly sliced rice cake and different types of dumplings.

The white rice cake soup symbolizes the fresh beginning of the New Year. Besides, some other dishes are also enjoyed by Koreans, such as; tteokguk, soup made of meat, seaweed and sliced rice cake, spring onions and kimchi.

The entire nation lights up with street lights and other decorations. Fireworks and fountain splash are organized at night to cheer up the festive people.

Korean traditional lion and dragon dance is performed in the street to promote good fortune, wisdom and power. Also, red lanterns made of paper and silk carrying different symbols and phrases are flown in the sky.

North Korea

North Korea

During the ruling period of Kim Il Sung, Lunar New Year celebration was not allowed in North Korea. Until 1989, new year day was given a holiday just to pass, but from 2003 North Korea’s government hosted the Lunar New Year as a national event.

Unlike South Korean, North Korean do not travel to their hometown to celebrate this occasion.

Travelling is very difficult in North Korea, that’s why they prefer to stay at their current place. Lunar New Year celebration is not quite exciting to them. They just prefer to stay at home.

However, some basic rituals and traditions are followed almost in every household. The first thing that men need to do in the morning is to visit relatives and neighbours and greet them for the new year.

Surprisingly, women are not allowed to visit and greet like men. The North Koreans believe that entrance of a female on the first day of the year will bring bad luck. Hence, women do not take part in this tradition.

Rather they prefer to stay home and play some traditional board games, sharing food and pass the time through singing and dancing.

Many Koreans still perform their traditional ancestral rites ritual ‘charye’. Moreover, some Korean Peninsula performs sebae and wish one another good luck for the new year.

During the new year celebration, they lay flowers and show respect to the former presidents.

Singapore

Singapore

In Singapore, Lunar New Year is celebrated in a lush way in cities like; Chinatown, Tampines Hub, Vivo City and Jewel Changi Airport.

Over the years, the celebration of the Lunar New Year of Singaporeans has changed a lot as now they mix old and new traditions for the New Year festival.

During the occasion of the Lunar New Year, both younger and older Chinese people visit the pagodas in Chinatown and pray for countless possibilities in the new year. They treat themselves through visiting the heritage sites and amusement places.

Wishing trees are quite popular in Singapore, especially during the festive season. Write a wish on the card and hang it on the wishing tree, along with that 2 dollars being donated for charity.

The markets become overly crowded during this festive season. The bazaars are decorated with bright colors, and people are everywhere buying their necessary Lunar goodies.

Besides buying Lunar goodies, people enjoy many special foods in the bazaar like pineapple tart, salmon, sashimi, nian gao, sweet and sticky rice cakes.

Different stage shows are organized, full of singing, dancing and magic shows. The cities are decorated with bright colors and lenteral lightning in the street. People can adopt the lantern for a few days but are not allowed to buy it.

Malaysia

Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur and Penang are the two biggest cities that host the biggest Lunar New Year festival in the country. In Kuala Lumpur, experience the best Lunar New Year festival in Chinatown and Old Klang Road, also in Georgetown, Ipoh and Malacca.

People visit the temples on the first day of the new year to seek good wishes for the upcoming days of the year.

Temples are lit up with colorful lamps at night, which indeed create beautiful scenery. Besides the Chinese people, local people come and join to witness the mesmerising beauty of the festival.

Malaysian people spend their first day of the new year with their families; on the 2nd and 3rd day, they visit their relatives and hang out with their close friends.

Chinese store owners keep their shops shut and visit their families to spend the Lunar New Year together.

Malaysian practice an open house tradition, that is, all the doors are open in a house so that any people can visit regardless of their race and religion. The leader of the country also takes part in the open house tradition in the country’s community hall to accommodate the crowd.

A special dish named ‘yee sang’ is served only during the Chinese New Year. A very common tradition is followed while eating the dish as a sherred bit of yee sang tossed in the year with the chopstick. The higher the toss is, the more good luck, prosperity and wellbeing they will receive.

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The shopping malls display Chinese New Year themes to cheer up the customers and for good fortune.

Malls remain crowded with people who are looking for New Year goodies. Chinese stores showcase lion and dragon dance on the first day as they believe it will bring blessings for them, and the store will perform great business that year.

People enjoy fireworks and fountain splash till midnight. Informal parades are arranged in front of the open house. Also, dragon and lion dances on the street entertain people during the festival.

Vietnam

Vietnam

Vietnam calls the Lunar New Year ‘Tet’ or ‘Vietnamese Lunar New Year as the Vietnamese welcome spring following the Chinese Lunar calendar.

Tet and Chinese New Year are celebrated on the same day. It only differs in timing as Beijing is an hour ahead of Hanoi.

Tet is the most important and popular holiday in the country. Thus the busy and crowded city turns into a desert as everybody leaves for their hometown to celebrate the new year with their family. Almost all the shops and restaurants are closed for 3 days.

Vietnamese celebrate Tat with their family privately. First day they visit their relatives in the daytime and spend the night with their families. Second day they visit important colleagues and close friends, and on the third day, they meet everyone else.

Many people visit pagodas and seek blessings. Also, they exchange gifts which are known as ‘lucky money’. People spend their time drinking, glamping, chatting, playing, singing karaoke and eating traditional snacks.

Major cities are decorated with lights, trees and flowers. Besides, families decorate their homes with various colors, potted tangerine trees and flowering bushes.

Conclusion

Lunar New Year may not be celebrated all around the world, but it is one of the most popular festivals in the world. Lunar New Year brings joy, hope, and prosperity to everyone’s life, and people of all races and religions should enjoy it if they have the scope. I hope now you know what countries that celebrate lunar new year.

Cultural and religious celebrations are an integral part of every society, and nowhere is that more evident than in the way different countries celebrate Lunar New Year.

From China and Japan to Vietnam and Cambodia, each country has its own unique way of commemorating the new year and ushering in a new era.

Whether you’re looking to learn about the customs of a different country or just embrace the holiday spirit, our post on the best countries that celebrate Lunar New Year will have something for you!

FAQs

1. How is the Lunar New Year celebrated?

The Lunar New Year is celebrated by many people around the world in different ways. Generally, it is a time to cleanse your body, mind, and soul and to renew your commitment to live a good life.

Some people take part in traditional Chinese ceremonies, while others celebrate the holiday with family and friends. Regardless of how you celebrate Lunar New Year, make sure to enjoy yourself and stay positive!

2. What Colors Should You Wear for the Lunar New Year?

As the Lunar New Year approaches, many people find themselves wondering what colors to wear to represent the new year. Here are a few popular choices:

  1. Green – The color of growth and hope, green is a perfect choice for representing the new year. It is also a natural color that is easy to blend into any outfit.
  2. Red – The color of courage and passion, red stands for energy and enthusiasm. It is also a popular choice for Valentine’s Day.
  3. Yellow – The color of happiness and sunshine, yellow is a cheerful color that symbolizes good luck and excess wealth in the new year.
  4. White – The color of purity and innocence, white represents peace and new beginnings. It can be worn to symbolize the Fairies’ role in bringing good luck in the new year.

3. How Does the Lunar New Year Money-giving Tradition Work?

The Lunar New Year tradition of giving money to friends and family is a longstanding custom that dates back to over 2,500 years ago.

During the Lunar New Year, people traditionally exchange gifts of money, food, and other items to celebrate the new year.

The custom of giving money during the Lunar New Year is based on the belief that when we give and share, both people involved are happy and everything will be smooth during the coming year.

In China, where the Lunar New Year is celebrated the most, this tradition is seen as a way to ward off bad luck and bring in good luck for the year ahead.

4. Why Is Lunar New Year Called Chinese?

Lunar New Year is officially known as the Chinese New Year. It is celebrated on the first day of the first lunar month, which is usually between late January and early February.

The holiday commemorates the arrival of the New Year, as well as the end of the old year and the beginning of a new one.

5. Does Japan Celebrate Lunar New Year

Yes, Japan celebrates the lunar new year – which is also known as the Chinese New Year. The holiday typically falls on the first day of the first month of the Chinese calendar, which is usually in February or March.

During the holiday, people celebrate with special foods and festivities, and often wear new clothes to symbolize a fresh start.

 

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