The Lunar New Year, or “Chinese New Year” falls this year on Saturday January 28th. Traditionally, this holiday marks the beginning of spring and is celebrated throughout the course of a week (or longer), this year from 1/27 to 2/3, 2017 is the year of the rooster. Those born under the rooster are considered “are hardworking, resourceful, courageous, and talented.” During the holiday families clean their homes and gather for festive meals and revelry. Learn more about Spring Festival traditions in Celebrating the Lunar New Year.
Our enthusiasm for opportunities to start fresh has frequently made its way onto the blog, from the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah), to the civil New Year, to the start of a new semester. Today, February 5th, marks another calendrical reset, the Lunar New Year. Commonly known as the Chinese New Year for its largest group of celebrants, it’s the start of a calendar determined in part by the phases of the moon, rather than the Earth’s revolutions around the sun. Because of this, the civil date of the holiday varies from late January to mid-February. According to former Touro Library Cataloger, Liping Wang, observations of the holiday often include cleaning the home, families gathering for a home-cooked meal on New Year’s Eve, fireworks, and “luck money” given from the older generations to the younger in red envelopes. In New York, you can participate in parades and other celebrations held in Chinatown, in Manhattan, and in Flushing, Queens. NYC public schools recognize the Lunar New Year as an official holiday, meaning no school for students today. Alas, Touro classes are all still in session, but we wish you all a happy Lunar New Year!