Asian Culture: Chinese New Year Celebration

Every country in the world celebrates New Year, especially Westernized countries like the United States, which takes pride in many different yet amazing activities around the countries such as New York Time Square Ball Drop and many others to mark a new and better year. Unfortunately, not many people celebrate or even acknowledge the importance of Chinese New Year. There are many reasons why westerners are not familiar with the concept of Chinese New Year are because the celebration takes place using the Moon Calendar, which at certain year can be in the late January and early February. At the same time, Chinese New Year requires a lot of different preparations prior to the actual holiday and a lot of cleaning up afterward. Chinese New Year prep requires a lot of time and work put into it, especially the way asian americans celebrate it.

Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year is commonly celebrated by the Southeast asian countries such as China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, HongKong, Macau and the Philippines. Even though each country has different ways of celebrating the holidays, they all have many things in common when it comes to celebrating it. The most common thing is they all celebrate on the same day which is January 1st (using the Lunar calendar). For example, in 2014, January 1st using the Lunar Calendar is going to be January 31st of the Solar Calendar.

Based on the Chinese New Year traditions, the holiday is celebrate for at least three days but in some other cultures and traditions, it varies between one day and ten days. For example, the Philippines only celebrate the holiday for one day whereas majority of other Southeast Asian countries celebrate for at least 3 days.

The reasons why it is three day are because there are different meanings to each day. The first day is to celebrate the blessing from heaven and earth for a successful previous year and also asking for blessings for upcoming year. The second day is to celebrate the union of family members. And finally, the third day is a practice of burning paper money and incentives to sweep away the evil spirits so they could have a peaceful and bless-full year.

It is important to recognize every culture’s traditions and celebrations even if they are different than your own. Life is a lesson, it is important to be open-minded and welcome new traditions and cultures with open hand.

2014 ChineseNewYear.jpg

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