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Lunar New Year • Asian Cultural

February 10

From U of T’s Inclusive Employer Guide:

The Lunar New Year — also known as Chinese New Year, the Spring Festival, “Tết” in Vietnam, “Seollal” in Korea, and “Losar” in Tibet — marks the first day of the first month of the lunar calendar and is considered one of the most important and widely-celebrated holidays across East Asia.

The Lunar New Year follows the lunisolar calendar and is regulated by the cycles of the moon and sun. In 2024, the Lunar New Year falls on February 10.

Each year of the lunar calendar is associated with one of the twelve animals of the zodiac. The year 2024 is the Year of the dragon. The dragon traditionally symbolizes power, luck, and success.

The Lunar New Year is a time to reflect on the past year and celebrate the coming year with festive activities and celebrations. Each region and community observe their own unique Lunar New Year celebrations, interpretations, and traditions.

In many cultures, it is important to clean and spiritually cleanse the home in preparation for the new year and perform ceremonies that will bring abundance, good luck, and fortune for the year ahead. The holiday is also seen as a time for people to connect with family, friends, and loved ones, and share stories to honour their origins and ancestors.

On the night of the Lunar New Year, many people adorn their homes with colourful lanterns, prepare meals that symbolize abundance and prosperity, take part in traditional dances, exchange money and gifts, and light fireworks. The holiday is also seen as an important opportunity to partake in charitable activities and share with those less fortunate.

In cities across Canada, people of various backgrounds and religions take part in Lunar New Year festivities. As of June 2016, Lunar New Year celebrations have been recognized as an official holiday in Canada, and since 1997, Canada Post has issued stamps featuring the astrological sign of the current year.

Common greetings: “Happy New Year” or “Happy Lunar New Year” 


February 10
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