The Lunar New Year begins on February 16, 2018, and celebrations will mark the start of the Year of the Dog. Here are some fun facts about the Year of the Dog specifically and about Lunar New Year generally.
First, the event is often referred to as “Chinese New Year” but is determined by the moon and celebrated in many countries around the world and not just China. In Vietnam, the holiday is called Tet. Koreans refer to it as Seollal. “Lunar New Year” is a more accurate and inclusive name for the occasion.
What is Lunar New Year? Why does the date of it move?
Lunar New Year is always on the second moon after the Winter Solstice, and the dates moves each year. The earliest it can be is January 21 and the latest it s can be is February 20.
This year, the Year of the Dog, begins on February 16, 2018. In 2019, Lunar New Year is on Feb. 5, and in 2020 it will be on January 25th.
Festivities for Lunar New Year usually start the day before the New Year and continue until the Lantern Festival, the 15th day of the new year. Collectively they are known as the Spring Festival and while it may not yet be Spring, the festival is meant to mark the end of winter’s coldest days.
Displaying and eating oranges and tangerines is thought to bring good luck. Ideally, the leaves are still attached to the fruit because they are symbolic of longevity.
Other auspicious foods include fish, dumplings, noodles, and lettuce.
What other years are Year of the Dog?
Prior to this year, the Year of the Dog was most recently celebrated in 2006. If you have an 11-year-old, chances are that kiddo was born in the Year of the Dog.
1994, 1982, 1970, 1958, and 1946 were also Year of the Dog.
The next Year of the Dog will be 2030.
What characteristics do people born in the Year of the Dog have?
Those born in the Year of the Dog are said to be sincere, loyal, and kind. As a result, they are popular and good friends to have. They are also often persistent (or stubborn) and can be opinionated, according to ChineseNewYear2018.com.
Gifts are exchanged and the most common way to do so is to give money in red envelopes. Red is considered a lucky coloring Asia, so the gift is sometimes called lucky money. With technology, it can now be transferred via digital red envelopes.
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