Events

Celebrate the Lunar New Year in February

December 30, 2012 by

Lunar New Year Parade

Lunar New Year parade

If you love the holidays and feel a bit let down when the decorations are stowed away and the confetti has fallen, cheer up. The Lunar New 2013 falls in February and will be celebrated from February 9-24.

In cultures where it is celebrated, it is like Christmas and New Year’s rolled into one.

For all those who enjoy eating Chinese food, you are probably familiar with those paper placemats that tell you what your Chinese zodiac animal sign is based on the year you were born. The Lunar New Year 2013 will usher in the year of the snake and is also known as the Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year San Francisco

A popular Chinese New Year celebration in the States is the Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco. Other parades are held in New York and other big cities, but the Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco has the most elaborate costumes and floats and showcases a spectacular 268 foot Golden Dragon carried by more than 100 men and women!

And the parade is just part of a Chinese New Year Festival.

Lunar New Year Red Lanterns

Decorate with red for good luck in the New Year.

Ways to Celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year

The Chinese Lunar New Year date is dictated by the Chinese lunar calendar. The date varies from year to year, and falls anywhere from late January to late February. While we have the 13 days of Christmas, the Lunar New Year celebration lasts 15 days.

Here are a few ways to join the celebration at home:

  • Clean your house: Okay, so this isn’t what you had in mind. This tradition is based on the belief that cleaning the house during this time sweeps away bad luck that has accumulated over the previous year. This is to be done before the New Year arrives, so your home is ready to receive good luck.
  • Decorate: Decorate your home for the New Year. Decorations are not ostentatious. Traditional color used is red, which symbolizes good luck. Decorate with flowers, too, as they symbolize rebirth and new growth.
  • Number 8: The number 8 also represents good luck and wealth. Another tradition is to put out trays of 8 different kinds of candies.
Lunar New Year Traditional Meal

Share in a Lunar New Year traditional meal.

Traditional New Year’s Eve Meal

One of the most important aspects of the Lunar New Year celebration is the food eaten. Some Chinese families choose not to eat meat on the first day of the New Year, in honor of the zodiac animals, but other than that, traditional Chinese dishes are eaten during the celebration.

Photo credits: Global Jet, lydia_shiningbrightly, MDGovpics

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