Are Chinese New Year and Lunar New Year the same thing? | The Sun

CHINESE New Year is considered to be one of the most important dates in the calendar for those who celebrate.

The celebration is the largest and most colourful event in Chinese culture, but can sometimes be confused with the Lunar New Year.

Are Chinese New Year and Lunar New Year the same thing?

The Chinese New Year and Lunar New Year are closely related.

In a casual conversation, both terms can be used interchangeably as synonyms.

However, in a more strict cultural environment, it is necessary to understand the differences between the two.

In China, both of the festivities are known as Spring Festival or Lunar New Year.

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Many other Asian countries, such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, celebrate the Lunar New Year.

The Chinese New Year and Lunar New Year are both based on complete cycles of phases of the moon.

The Chinese calendar is lunisolar and an ordinary year has 353–355 days.

A thirteenth "leap" month occurs approximately every three years which consists of 383–385 days.

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The Lunar New Year date is determined by the traditional lunar calendar used in Asia which is based on the moon's orbit around the earth.

The traditions and how each Asian country celebrates and what the New Year festival is called differs.

For example, Vietnam celebrates Tet and Korea's festival is called Seollal.

2023 is the Year of the Rabbit.

It's said people that are born during the years of the Rabbit take love seriously and will never fall for someone easily, but when they find the right person they will love them forever.

They are also non-judgemental, open-minded and are often sought for advice.

Rabbits are seekers of peace but can also be self-centred at times.

They are quiet, elegant, kind, and responsible.

What is the Lunar New Year?

The Lunar New Year also known as the Spring Festival marks the day the cycles of the lunisolar calendars reset.

It is the beginning of a calendar year whose months are cycles of the moon and cycles of the sun. 

Tied to the lunar calendar, the holiday began as a time for feasting and to honour household and heavenly deities, as well as ancestors.

The New Year typically begins with the first new moon that occurs between the end of January and spans the first 15 days of the first month of the lunar calendar— until the full moon arrives.

Each year in the Lunar calendar is represented by one of 12 zodiac animals.

In 2023, Lunar New Year begins on January 22.

2022 was the Year of the Water Tiger.

2023 is the Year of the Rabbit.

The year of the rabbit was in 2011. 

Does the date change every year?

A lunar year is shorter than a solar year, which is the time the earth takes to orbit the sun, with around 354 days or 12 cycles of the moon.

It can fall in either January or February each year and the date changes annually too.

Thousands celebrate Chinese New Year with parades and fireworks normally.

The Chinese New Year festival usually lasts for 16 days, starting from Chinese New Year's eve to the Lantern Festival.

New Year celebrations last up to 16 days, but only the first 7 days are considered a public holiday (January 31–February 6).

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Chinese New Year 2023 falls on Sunday, January 2, and celebrations culminate with the Lantern Festival on February 1.


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