Representative Karen Kwan ran HJR 5 - Joint Resolution Recognizing the Lunar New Year
Lunar New Year:
Lunar New Year is a traditional and very important Asian holiday. It was originally a festival to honor ancestors as well as holy or sacred beings. It is also known as the Spring Festival, which is the literal translation from the Chinese name. It is also referred to as the Chinese New Year because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar. A lunisolar calendar uses both the moon phase and the solar year. Lunar New Year is the longest festival in the Chinese calendar.
Interesting Lunar New Year Facts:
Traditionally Lunar New Year lasted from the last day of the Chinese calendar to the 15th day of the first month.
The exact date of Lunar New Year changes each year because it originated in 2600 B.C. At that time people followed the lunar calendar.
The Lunar New Year is symbolic of letting go of the past and welcoming new beginnings. It's a popular time for spring cleaning.
Each year of the Lunar New Year calendar is named after an animal. This is a 12 year cycle. Once the 12 year cycle is over the animal list begins again. The list in order is: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, ram, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.
As the longest festival in the Chinese calendar, Lunar New Year can last as many as 15 days. Children take an entire month off of school.
It's common for Chinese families to have a reunion dinner the night before Lunar New Year festivities begin. The decorations used on doors and windows are red colored paper-cuts (made similar to the way we make snowflakes). The themes of these paper-cuts are of happiness, good fortune, longevity and wealth.
Firecrackers are popular during the Lunar New Year. They are thought to scare off evil spirits.
Children receive red envelopes full of money instead of wrapped gifts that other nationalities give at Christmas. The amount they receive is usually an even or a whole number. The amount cannot be divisible by four. In some dilates, the number 4 and the word death are homophones.
Dragon dances and street fairs are very popular. Dancers dress up as lions and dragons and perform for onlookers.
On the last day of Lunar New Year, everyone carries beautiful paper lanterns and walks along the streets. This is supposed to light the way for the New Year. This day is called Lantern Day.
On Lunar New Year everyone is a year older. It doesn't matter when you were born; this is like a national birthday.