Lunar New Year – How Celebrations differ across cultures following Lunar calendar
Throughout Asia and it’s neighboring countries, the Lunar New Year, commonly known as Chinese New Year is the most widely celebrated, and one of the most important holiday’s in East Asia. It marks the start of the new year based on the lunar calendar. The lunar calendar is a dating system based on the monthly cycle of the moon’s phases. This year, Lunar New Year is celebrated on January 22, 2023.
There are countries that share the interpretation of the Chinese calendar in Korea, Japan, and Vietnam, and therefore celebrate their Lunar New Year at the same or almost same time. However, there are many other countries and cultures who use their own lunar calendars, such as India, with New Years falling at different times.
Various lunar calendars continue to be used throughout India in traditional and religious life. While different from the Chinese lunisolar calendar used in East Asia. The most common lunar new celebrations in India are Diwali and Gudi Padwa/Ugadi/Puthandu. Click here to learn more about Diwali.
The Hindu calendar is essentially a lunar calendar and is based on the cycles of the moon. In the lunar calendar, like the Islamic calendar, the months move forward by about 11 days every solar year. This is why Diwali is celebrated anywhere between September and November.
Islam also follows a Lunar calendar and celebrates festivals based on the phases of moon – with 12 months a year. Baisakhi commemorates the New year for Sikhs. Sikhs also follow a Lunar calendar.
While the message is the same in India and East Asia, new beginnings are celebrated during the Lunar New Year and is observed to bring in good health, happiness, and good fortune for the new year. This year the Lunar New Year is celebrated on January 22nd. While it typically falls in the winter months, sometime between January 21 and February 20, the Lunar New Year is also meant to celebrate the arrival of spring. This is the year of the Rabbit, which symbolizes grace, beauty, calm and peace.