THE CALENDAR OF THE MOON
Lunar New Year commemorates the start of a new year according to the traditional lunar calendar. Known colloquially as the Spring Festival, cultures all over Asia celebrate Lunar New Year with their own unique customs and traditions. The lunar calendar is represented by one of the 12 zodiacs – Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.
The festival begins on the first new moon of the lunar calendar, which varies from year to year depending on the moon’s cycles. The holiday generally falls between January 21st and February 20th, and lasts 15 days from New Year’s Eve to the 15th day of the New Year.
The Lunar New Year falls on Friday, February 12th, 2021 this year. Celebrations usually begin the night before (the 11th) and last up to 16 days. This Lunar New Year heralds the start of the Year of the Ox, the zodiac’s second animal.
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are traditionally reserved for family celebrations, including religious ceremonies to honour ancestors. To symbolise a surplus of luck and wealth, communities celebrate with cultural dances, fireworks, and plenty of traditional foods like niang gao (sticky rice cake) and fish.