Happy Lunar New Year!

Lunar New Year falls on February 10, 2024 this year and it is the Year of the Dragon. Lunar New Year is a long-standing tradition that is celebrated by millions of people around the world. It marks the end of the winter period and the celebration of warmer times and new growth to come. Lunar New Year is traditionally celebrated in Asian countries like China, Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, Philippines, and Indonesia. The most important aspect of celebrating the holiday is having a great time with friends and family.

Cultures celebrating Lunar New Year have different ways of greeting each other during the holiday. For example, in Mandarin, a common way to wish family and close friends a happy New Year is “Xīnnián hǎo,” meaning “New Year Goodness” or “Good New Year.” Another greeting is “Xīnnián kuàilè,” meaning “Happy New Year.” Traditional greetings during Tết in Vietnam are “Chúc Mừng Năm Mới” (Happy New Year) and “Cung Chúc Tân Xuân” (gracious wishes of the new spring). For Seollal, South Koreans commonly say “Saehae bok mani badeuseyo” (May you receive lots of luck in the new year).

Some Interesting Facts:

  • Lunar New Year falls on a different date every year.
  • It is called the Spring Festival in China; according to one legend, there was a monster named Nian that would come about every New Year’s Eve. Most people would hide in their homes, but one brave child fought it off using firecrackers. The next day, people celebrated their survival by setting off even more firecrackers. This practice became a crucial part of the Spring Festival.
  • In South Korea, the Lunar New Year (Seollak) is a three-day celebration, and everyone ages one year at the start of the Lunar New Year celebrations.
  • Banh Chung is traditionally eaten in Vietnam during Tết,  this tasty treat is made of tightly-packed sticky rice, which may include either a meat filling or a bean spread. This sticky rice is then traditionally wrapped in banana leaves, to keep the inside fresh for the duration of the festival.

On behalf of Whitelaw Twining’s DEI committee, we wish everyone a Happy Lunar New Year!