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Put on your favorite red shirt and it's time to celebrate the Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival. Saying goodbye to the Year of the Tiger, we entered the Year of the Rabbit on January 22, 2023.

Millions of families around the world are preparing for one of the biggest holidays of the year.

If you're new to the Lunar New Year, here's everything you need to know about the occasions, including important dates and celebrations.

What is Lunar New Year?

Lunar New Year is one of the most important holidays of the year among East and Southeast Asian Cultures, including Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese communities. It is the beginning of the a new calendar cycle and symbolizes reunion and rebirth, marking the end of winter and the beginning of spring.

When is Lunar New Year 2023?

Numerous Asian communities have historically used a lunisolar calendar, in which the years are solar but the months are lunar. Each year, the Gregorian calendar assigns a different day to the Lunar New Year. This 2023 the Lunar New Year’s Eve is January 21 and the new year begins at January 22.

Even though New Year's festivities frequently begin the weekend before and sometimes last for weeks after, only the first 15 days are recognized as public holidays.

What Animal is being celebrated this year 2023?

The Chinese calendar operates on a 12-year cycle, with each year associated with one of a dozen animals: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

2023 is designated as the Year of the Rabbit in the Gregorian calendar. The rabbit occupies the fourth position in the Chinese zodiac, symbolizing grace, beauty, compassion and happiness. Rabbits are also associated with the Moon, as the mythical jade rabbit lives there.

How Lunar New Year celebrated?

In Asia, red and gold symbolize luck. Many people in Lunar New Year wear red, and children often get red envelopes full of money. Families will hold parties, clean their homes and visit shrines to honor their dead loved ones.

Every culture celebrates the Lunar New Year in a unique way, with different foods and customs that stand for wealth, abundance, and community. Houses are thoroughly cleaned in time for the Lunar New Year to get rid of any unlucky spirits that may have gathered there during the previous year. Another purpose of cleaning is to make room for luck and good vibes.

Some households hold rituals in which they present food and paper idols to the dead. Others hang red paper and banners with calligraphy messages of good luck and health inside and outside of homes. Young people receive money-filled envelopes from elders. Foods made from glutinous rice are frequently consumed because they stand for togetherness. Other foods stand for wealth, abundance, and fortune.

Happy Chinese New Year from 11ic to all of you, may this year bring us luck, happiness and prosperity.

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