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A Historic Celebration

By McKenzie Tiemann

February 1 marks an important date in the Chinese calendar this year. On this day, people celebrate letting go of the past and looking forward to a new year filled with luck. The Lunar New Year, also known as the Chinese New Year, is an annual holiday celebrated worldwide.

In China, the Gregorian calendar, which Pope Gregory XIII first introduced in 1582, is based on the cycles of the sun and the moon. The Lunar New Year marks the first new moon of the lunar calendar.

A new moon is the antithesis of a full moon, meaning the new moon is absent of light and reveals its dark side. When this occurs, the moon is perfectly in line between the Earth and the sun. A full lunar cycle must be completed to create a new moon, so therefore, the new moon is only visible once a month.

The Lunar New Year is a celebratory event, most popular in Asia. The holiday is highly revered in Asia, as it is considered a time to celebrate ancestors and deities. Following is a 15-day festival that begins on February 1. This year, the holiday concludes the Year of the Ox and begins the Year of the Tiger.

Boston celebrates the Lunar New Year in many ways. The most notable of which is the Chinese New Year Parade, set to take place on February 13 in Chinatown, Phillips Square, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This celebration will feature live cultural dancing, the Lion Dance, and additional activities such as Chinese calligraphy, handmade dough characters, arts and crafts, lantern making, and origami.

All over the world, different countries celebrate the Lunar New Year with their own unique traditions.

In Vietnam, the Lunar New Year is called Tt Nguyên án, or Tt, which translates to the First Day First Morning Festival. People celebrate by cleaning their houses and decorating the space with flowers. In South Korea, people commence the new year by gifting their friends and family with canned meat.

No matter where, the Lunar New Year is a day that recognizes new beginnings and fresh starts. It is a day that holds different meanings, but still unites communities all over the world.


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