From all of us at The Mosaic, we wish you a happy and prosperous new year!
Also known as the Spring Festival (春节) / Chinese New Year (新年) in China, Tết in Vietnam, and Seollal (설날) in Korea, Lunar New Year celebrates the start of the new year on the lunisolar calendar, observed through a range of traditions extending over several days. Beginning on Saturday, February 10th, 2024 and celebrated for multiple days, this meaningful and significant holiday is considered one of the most important holidays across cultures. Businesses, schools, and government offices are closed during this time across the world in observance of Lunar New Year. A time for familial gathering and engaging in longstanding traditions. For individuals celebrating the Lunar New Year spiritually, these festive days hold significance, honoring ancestors and those departed through various ritual celebrations.
During this festive period, family, friends, and loved ones come together to prepare traditional and customary dishes, each carrying symbolic meaning. Foods like Tangyuan (sweet rice balls, China), Tteokguk (rice cake soup, Korea), and Banh Chung (square glutinous rice cake, Vietnam) embody cherished values and beliefs such as family unity, longevity, and reverence for the Earth.
In addition to observing the lunisolar calendar, each year is designated by a specific Zodiac animal. The significance and symbolism linked to each Zodiac animal differ across various cultures due to their distinct beliefs and customs. In 2024, it is recognized as the Year of the Dragon, a highly auspicious zodiac sign representing qualities like cleverness, charm, and even wealth. Different cultures may associate various types of dragons with the zodiac belief. According to the Chinese zodiac, 2024 is designated as the year of the Wood Dragon, while for those observing Seollal, it is considered the year of the Blue Dragon, or gabjinnyeon (갑진년).
Want to learn more about Lunar New Year festivities in the Maryland and Washington D.C. area? Click here!
Our Asian cultural and ethnic organizations at UMBC are also celebrating Lunar New Year! Check out their myUMBC pages to learn more.