Buddhism facts

Lunar New Year Highlights

CNN Editorial Research

Here is a look at the Lunar New Year, which is celebrated in many countries in Asia. It is the longest and most important celebration of the Chinese lunisolar calendar.


February 1, 2022 – The year 4720 begins. It marks the first day of the New Year in the Chinese calendar. 2022 is the year of the tiger.

The Lunar New Year is celebrated on the second new moon after the winter solstice, usually between January 21 and February 20 according to the Gregorian calendar.

Lunar New Year festivities begin on the first day of the first lunar month of the Chinese calendar and continue until the 15th of the lunar month, when the moon is full.

Chinese legend has it that Buddha asked all animals to meet him on New Year’s Day and named each of the twelve animals that came a year after.

The animals of the Chinese calendar are the dog, pig / boar, rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey and rooster.

In addition, according to legend, people born in the year of each animal have some of the personality traits of that animal.


Each day of the fortnight’s celebration has its own traditions, such as visiting in-laws or staying home to welcome good fortune.

Families get together for meals, especially for a New Year’s Eve feast.

Another tradition is to give cash in a red envelope, called “hongbao”, to children and single adults. In recent years, the gift offering has gone digital.

Fireworks during the Lunar New Year stem from a custom of lighting burning bamboo stems to ward off evil spirits.

The Lunar New Year ends with the Lantern Festival, celebrated at night with exhibits and parades of painted lanterns.

The highlight of the Lantern Festival is the dragon dance. Magnificent dragons made of paper, silk and bamboo are held overhead and appear to dance as they weave their way along the parade routes.

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