Helena Magazine

2023 Year of the Rabbit

Published 1:08 pm Monday, January 23, 2023

Happy Lunar New Year

The Chinese New Year, also called the Lunar New Year, is an annual 15-day festival in China and other Chinese communities around the world. This year the Chinese New Year falls on Sunday, January 22, 2023, and it is the year of the rabbit. Why isn’t it January 1, 2023? The reason is that western society follows the Gregorian calendar, and the Chinese New Year is based on the Lunar calendar. The Gregorian calendar was instituted by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. The calendar has 365 days with an extra day every four years (the leap year) except in years divisible by 100 but not divisible by 400. The holiday is called the Lunar New Year because the dates of celebration follow the phases of the moon.

The typical Chinese New Year traditions are putting up decorations, dinner parties with family on New Year’s Eve, giving red envelopes and gifts, firecrackers and fireworks and watching lion and dragon dances. There is a tradition to clear out last year’s clutter and buy new clothing to wear for the new year and eat, eat, eat at the family gathering and New Year festivals.

The best thing about the Chinese New Year is the red envelopes. This bright red envelope (known as 紅包, hóngbāo) is given to your friends and family filled with money which symbolized good luck and good wishes. The older generation passes out the red envelopes to the younger generations. †he younger generation will wish the older generation a happy and prosperous new year. And usually the younger you are the more red envelopes you receive.

And the last tidbit about the Chinese New year is that the Chinese calendar goes in a cycle of 12 years. Each year is symbolized by a different animal. And that is why 2023 is the year of the RABBIT.