Unlike New Year’s, which is celebrated at midnight of Jan. 1, Lunar New Year is usually celebrated around the end of January to mid-February and it lasts for two weeks. It marks the first day of the lunar calendar, which is based on the moon’s orbit around Earth.
Lunar New Year is celebrated in many Southern Asian countries including China, Vietnam Singapore, Cambodia, Korea and Thailand. Customs and traditions concerning the celebration of Lunar New Year vary widely, due to the different significances each culture recognizes in the celebration.
Within Chinese culture, the celebration lasts for 15 days and most people in China have at least a whole week off work, while students take off a month. During this time, it’s traditional to return home to family and thoroughly clean the house, which signifies the sweeping away of ill-fortune to make room for incoming good luck.
Another significant tradition is to decorate windows and doors with red paper cut-outs which signify happiness, good fortune, wealth and longevity. Other activities include lighting firecrackers and the distribution of red envelopes containing money that resembles good luck. Typically, red envelopes are given by the elders to the younger generation under the age of 25.
Within Vietnamese culture, T?t is a celebration of the first day of spring. Many customs and traditions are practiced during T?t. One of the most prevalent traditions is returning home to family to worship ancestors at temples or graves, as well as lì xì among the children and elders. Perhaps the most important ritual is ??p ??t, which is when the first person to enter your home is the one that sets the tone for the entire year. According to Vietnamese culture, someone who is successful, happy and holds good morals is often seen as a lucky symbol for host families to invite into their homes; they’re thought to bring blessings to the family for the entire following year.
This Lunar New Year falls on Feb. 16. It’s also the Year of the Dog, which is the 11th sign in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. According to the Chinese, if a dog happens to come to your house, it symbolizes the coming of fortune. People who are born in the Year of the Dog are usually loyal, independent and sincere according to the Chinese zodiac analysis.
How are you celebrating Lunar New Year? Check out some of these events to ring in the New Year with good fortune, wealth and, of course, happiness!
Lunar New Year Activities
TET AT CHUA LIEN HOA
Location: Chua Lien Hoa 1211 Wilson St NE Olympia
Date: Feb. 15
Time: 9 p.m.–midnight
20TH ANNUAL LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATION WITH OUR FRIENDS @APCC
Location: Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall 2727 East D Street Tacoma
Date: Feb. 10
Time: 11 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
LINCOLN DISTRICT LUNAR NEW YEAR 2018: YEAR OF THE DOG
Location: Lincoln District Tacoma 38th St Tacoma WA
Date: Feb. 18
Time: 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
TET IN SEATTLE
Location: Seattle Center 305 Harrison St Seattle
Date: Feb. 10, Feb. 11
Time: 11 a.m.–7 p.m.
LUNAR NEW YEAR IN CHINATOWN
Location: Seattle Chinatown-International District Seattle
Date: Feb. 11
Time: 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
UW 2018 LITTLE HONG KONG: A NIGHT IN HONG KONG
Location: Husky Union Building 4001 E Stevens Way NE Seattle
Date: Feb. 17
Time: 4–8 p.m.
2018 LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATION
Location: Bellevue Square 575 Bellevue Way NE Bellevue
Date: Feb. 24
Time: 11 a.m.–6 p.m.