February 1, 2022 marks the Chinese New Year 2022, also widely referred to as the Lunar New Year. It is celebrated across East and Southeast Asia by more than one billion people!
The Lunar New Year begins with the rising of the second new moon after the winter solstice (December 21 for this year). This can occur on any date between January 21 and February 20. Also known as the Spring Festival, New Year is celebrated by East and Southeast Asian communities across the world. The festivities usher out the old year and are meant to bring luck and prosperity in the new one.
Our Chinese International Students at Corpus Christi Catholic Secondary School, located in Burlington, are proud to teach their classmates about what Lunar New Year is and why it’s important in the video below.
A few of our International Students at St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Secondary School, located in Oakville, explain what the Chinese New Year is and their personal experiences around it in the video below. They also teach some of their classmates how to say “Happy Chinese New Year” in Chinese.
Learn More About The Lunar New Year
Chinese New Year is thought to date back to the 14th century BC. Its origins are steeped in legend. One story says that a monster named Nian (“Year”) attacked villagers at the start of every year. Nian was afraid of loud noises, bright lights and the colour red. People used these things to chase the beast away.
Since the dragon is a Chinese symbol of power and good fortune, many areas of the country have dragon dancing, during which a long, colourful dragon puppet is paraded through the streets, as the highlight of festivities.
Year of the Tiger
Each year is associated with one of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. This year is the Year of the Tiger. It is said that children born in the year ahead will be brave, competitive and strong.
There are family banquets and outdoor spectacles featuring firecrackers, fireworks and often dancing dragons. The major celebrations are held on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Celebrations last for two weeks, ending this year on February 15 with the lantern festival, which marks the full moon.