What is Chinese Lunar New Year?

Do you know what is Lunar New Year? This celebration is to celebrate the end of Autumn and the beginning of Spring season. Lunar New Year is commonly known as Chinese New Year or Chinese Lunar New Year.

Lunar? Chinese?

Yeah. The calender system based on lunar rotation (moon) instead of the sun rotation in the Gregorian calender. Actually, not only Chinese descendent who celebrate Lunar New Year, many other nationality celebrate too with different time.

Is only Chinese celebrate Lunar New Year?

China is the place where great dynasties begun. As a melting pot and rich culture kingdom from a dynasty to other dynasties in the past, Central Kingdom (China) has so many cultures, arts, inventions, musics, philosophies from Han ethnic groups or other ethnic groups.

With the strong power and influences, the neighbor kingdom adopt (Han) Chinese culture and customize it. Nowadays, these kingdoms become independent countries such as Korea, Japan, Vietnam beside China. Koreans and Vietnamese do celebrate Lunar New Year with the same date as Chinese New Year while the Japanese don't celebrate it.

What Chinese do in Chinese New Year?

In this celebration/festival, we usually come back to home town to meet our family if you are an expat. Make quality time with our big family, visit each other house, serving food/snack to guests, receiving red envelope (Hong Bao, read: hoong pao) from parents, families. 

Receiving Red Envelope (Hongbao)

Giving Hongbao is for someone who has married or unmarried family but much older than you like your uncle, aunt and so on. What we do then? Praying for the better future and health at the temple, vihara, church or mosque. Rest and take care of yourself. Enjoy life from stressful working life, haha.

Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year?

So, what's the proper term to call this celebration? Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year?

This topic has been sensitive to some people with non-Chinese descent because the term "Chinese New Year" will be specifically refering for Chinese nationals/Chinese descent only. Koreans and Vietnamese will not use it instead of Lunar New Year for neutral term.

I personally agree with the arguments after I know the disagreement between them, hahaha.

But, as a country with 1.4 billion people and there are overseas Chinese almost in all countries in the world, "Chinese New Year" is commonly used and known. So yeah, we can't blame somebody, just rise mutual understanding to each other. Maybe if my friends are Koreans or Vietnamese, I will say Happy Lunar New Year instead of Happy Chinese New Year when it comes to English language.

Tbh, Many Chinese and Indonesian term is being confused when it translated to English, I think this problem also happens in other society because in reality, in our own language, we have various terms but it become one term in English so it will make some misunderstanding or misconception. Do you think so?

For example, I as an Indonesian of Chinese descent myself find it funny and anger at the same time? I think Indonesian and Indian are at the same situation as Chinese. We both have many ethnicities but when there are some conflict or problem to minorities, the English based news media like CN*, BB* or the others will said like the majority is a different nationality with the minorities. Do you ever feel it? I feel it many times but as a minority in Indonesia, I have understand the feeling lol.

Countries with multiethnic people like China, Indonesia, India and others have so many different ethnic even different (race) looking people.

So, there are no ethnic Chinese, ethnic Indian or ethnic Indonesian. We are groups of people with different facial features.

Okay, back to the topic.

As long as I know, people who celebrate this new year is from countries with Chinese kingdoms' influence in the past, excluding Japan even though they are being influence too.

What Chinese in China called this festival?

But, did you know that Spring Festival term is widely used in China to calling this celebration. There are so much term to call this festival, it depends on you, what term you use to call it.

Which name do you often used to refering this festival?


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