Holidays are a time for celebration, togetherness and acknowledging the values you may hold in your life. At Valley Children’s, we recognize the importance holidays hold within communities and invite you to celebrate them with us through our Celebrating Together blog series. This series highlights holidays throughout the year and displays the history and numerous ways you could celebrate them with your own community. In this installment of our Celebrating Together series, we would like to invite you to celebrate Lunar New Year, the celebration of the arrival of spring and the beginning of a new year on the lunar calendar.
What is Lunar New Year?
Lunar New Year, or Chinese New Year, is observed by many East Asian cultures and is often referred to as the Spring Festival. It marks the end of winter and beginning of spring according to the lunar calendar. The Spring Festival was originally a ceremonial day to pray to the gods for a good planting and harvest season. Lunar New Year is also the first day of the new full moon and marks the transition between zodiac signs. This year, 2024, is the year of the Dragon.
To prepare for the New Year, parents purchase new clothing and shoes for their children to represent a fresh start. Everyone is also expected to have their hair cut prior to the celebrations, as hair cutting during the celebrations is considered bad luck due to the homonymic nature of the word "hair" and the word for "prosperity." More importantly, families thoroughly clean their home, as it is believed to clean away the bad luck from the year before and makes the home ready for good luck. Traditional decorations of red lanterns are also hung throughout the home.
How to Celebrate Lunar New Year with your Family
- Host a traditional reunion dinner with your family to discuss hopes for the new year.
- Learn about which Chinese Zodiac you and your family are
- Gift Lai See, traditional red envelopes, to the children in your home.
- Print a free year of the dragon coloring page.
- Learn about the holiday with Peppa Pig.
For more information on how to celebrate Lunar New year, visit one of the resources below.