Asian New Year
Year of the Rabbit or Cat : Depends on where you live
According to PBS.org.
“In most parts of East Asia, the new year that begins on Jan. 22 corresponds to the rabbit, and also to the element of water and the feminine yin force. The cycle takes 60 years to complete, so 60th birthdays across East Asia are times for special celebrations.
However, the animal associations of the zodiac can vary: In Vietnam, Jan. 22 will usher in the Year of the Cat instead. The most recent Year of the Cat, in 2011, saw a baby boom in Vietnam because of the good luck associated with that zodiac sign.
One explanation among scholars for why Vietnamese culture celebrates it as the Year of the Cat is that the earthly branch corresponding to “rabbit” is pronounced mao in Mandarin and meo in Vietnamese, which sounds similar to the Vietnamese word for “cat.”
Another explanation comes from two variations of a popular legend about how the 12 zodiac animals were chosen. According to that legend, either the Buddha or the Jade Emperor, head of the Chinese pantheon, organized a race across a river to choose the zodiac animals and their order.
In the Chinese version, the cat and rat were riding across a river on an ox when the rat, in its drive to be first, pushed the cat into the water so that the cat arrived last and was disqualified. The rabbit was crossing the river by hopping on stones sticking out of the water, but with one lucky leap it landed on a floating log that swiftly carried it to shore, so that the rabbit finished fourth. However, in the Vietnamese version – which lacks a rabbit – the cat could swim and ended up arriving fourth.
Asian New Year at UIW
Asian New Year is an important holiday for billions of people around the world. The holiday is tied to the lunisolar (or lunar-solar) calendar and begins with the New Moon. The dates vary slightly from year to year, beginning some time between January 21 and February 20 according to Western calendars.
While originally observed as a time to honor families and host religious ceremony's and offerings for heavenly deities and ancestors, it has blossomed into many different cultural traditions. Today, Asian New Year, also referred to as Lunar New Year is a special time to bring friends and family together for feasting and festivities in China, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Tibet, Vietnam and even the US and Canada, as well as many other countries all over the world.
UIW has a long history of Celebrating Asian New Year, usually a banquet style event with performance groups.
Asian New Year 2023 - Jan 23 thru Jan 27
This year UIW hosts a full week of events on campus:
Virtual Stories of the Lunar New New Year Across Cultures
See stories of the significance of Asian New Year and traditions from around the world from UIW faculty, students and staff.
Follow Instagram Stories from the International Students and Scholar Services at @intluiw.
Submit your video or photos here
Lantern Display at the UIW Cafeteria
This Year when you stop by the Cafeteria you will notice a beautiful display of Asian New Year Celebratory Lanterns.
Want to help out and be apart of the Asian New Year Festivities? This Saturday Jan 22, 2023 at 1:30 p.m. until 4 p.m., all are welcome to help and students are elibilbe to earn community service credits.
Register on Give Pulse Now
Volunteer for the Cafeteria Lantern Display
Background on Lanterns
Across Asia you can see festive scarlet decor on the streets, business and houses. Scarlet and red symbolize wealth and good fortune. Red decor is also part of the ancient legend of the infamous Nian. The Nian is a the a lion-like monster that fears the color red, fire, and load drums. This is also the reason bonfires, lanterns and firecrackers are used during Asian New Year.
Some houses also use bright floral arrangements, fruit trees and branches. In Vietnam, peach and apricot blossoms are used while in South Korea, birds are used. Cranes are used to call in longevity while magpies call in good fortune.
Typically, the Lantern Festival is hosted on the 15th day of first month of the lunar calendar. In some parts of China, riddles are written on the lanterns outside of homes and those who guess right get a token present. Learn more about Yuan Xiao Festival.
Global Eats at the UIW Cafeteria
Ever wanted to taste yummy Asian food on campus?!
For a speical treat this 2023 Asian New Year the UIW Cafeteria is going to be showcasing a delicious Asian New Year Featured Global Eats Menu at the Action Station all week long for lunch and dinner. There will also be featured daily food events on select days too so everybody can enjoy!
Background on Sweeping the House
In Mandarin, the word “dust” resembles “old”. Cleaning the house, sweeping, and washing windows, washes away any old bad luck and prepares your home for a new fresh year!
Cleaning past midnight is forbidden though, as cleaning on the first day of the new year wash away your new good luck. The first day of this years Asian New Year, Jan 22, is a traditional day to bring in new items for the home, including new clothes.
Sweeping House Donation Station Two Drop Off Locations
In honor of the "Asian New Year Sweeping the House Tradition." The International Student and Scholar Services Office has partnered with the Ettling Center For Civic Leadership and Sustainability to host two Donantion Stations on UIW Main Campus.Housewares, Clothing, Donating for Cardinal Cupboard, Toiletries/Towels, etc, in new or gently-used, clean condition are some of the supplies eligible for Donation. Donated items will be distrubuted to a local Charitable organization.
One Donation Station will be inside the ISSS Office located at The Grossman International Building Room #200.
The second Donation Station will be in the Ettling Center Office located at Administration Building Room #158. Drop by to donate and students are eligible to recieve community service credit following sign up.
Sign Up for the Sweeping House Donation
Monday Jan 23, 2023 - Asian Fair Booths and Fashion Show
Asian New Year Themed Booths 11 a. m. - 2 p. m. at the West Gate Cirlce
A variety of booths will be on display this year from UIW student and department organizations, Asian food, recipes, and beverage tasting, a live rabbit, and an all natural cleaning booth.
Don't miss out on these fun booths going to be on campus and a chance to man one of the booths!
If you are passionate about helping the enviroment, sustainability or conservation why not share that passion with your fellow cardinals and earn community service credits all while helping out with our Natural Cleaning Booth on Jan 23 or Jan 24.
For more information and to sign up click below
Link to More Info and Volunteer
The 2023 Asian Fashion Show - 12:15 p. m. at the West Gate Circle
To share and disply our unique and wonderful Asian Culture on Campus an Asian Fashion Show will be held and hosted by the Chair of the History Department, Coordinator of the Asian Studies Program, and Asian Culture Club Advisor Dr. Lopita Nath featuring traditional dress from across South, East and Central Asia.
Want to be in the fashion show?
Sign up on Givepulse and Engage.
Sign Up for the Fashion Show on Givepulse
Sign Up for the Fashion Show on Engage
Chinese New Year Celebration 7 - 9 p. m. Dubius Hall
Residents Life will be having an event celebrating the Chinese New Year with activities and free food.
Sign Up for the Chinese New Year Celebration on Engage
Tuesday Jan 24, 2023 - Asian New Year Fair Booths
Asian New Year Booths 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the SEC Concourse
The second day of the Asian New Year Fair is taking place in the SEC Concourse with another variety of booths out on display, come and take a look!
Our Natural Cleaning Booth will also be operating on Tuesday Jan 24, come on out and recieve free natural cleaning recipes, and learn how you can help keep the enviroment clean.
If you are interested in voulnteering at our Natural Cleaning Booth click the link below.
Volunteer for the Asian New Year Fair Booths
Wednesday, Jan 25, 2023 - Pho and Pot Stickers Social at the SEC Cafeteria
Pho and Pot Stickers Social 4:30 - 8 p.m. at the SEC Cafeteria
Enjoy yummy pho and pot stickes in this special event brought to you by Campus Dining! Students can use dining dollars for this event.
Thursday Jan 26, 2023 - Asian New Year Pop Up, Food Truck and Asian Market Tour
Asian New Year CE Pop Up 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the SEC Concourse
Come out to the SEC Concourse for the neat and scrumptious free food event.
The Asian New Year Celebration Pop Up Event from Campus Engagement.
Sign Up for the Asian New Year Pop Up on Engage
Asian Market Tour 4 - 5 p. m.
There are many Asian and International Markets here in San Antonio. If you would like to see any of these places, a shuttle will be provided to a few notable Asian Markets including the Garden Tea Lounge, Seoul Market, and Tokyo Mart.
Sign Up for the Asian Market Tour on Engage
Friday Jan 27, 2023 - Korean Names Workshop (Faculty Event), and Japanese Tea Garden Self Walk Tour
As a special event for our faculty our experts in Korean Culture also known as UIW Students in partnership with the ISSS Office, want to invite Faculty and Staff to learn more about Korean culture. Complimentary sweets will be provided in the Library Special Collections Room, during lunch. If you ever wanted to learn what your name sounds and looks like in Korean come by, strike up an engaging coversation, or just drop in for a moment.
The ISSS Office still has open spots for volunteers to join who can either speak, read, or do both in Korean. Community Service will be credited through Givepulse and this is a fun way to show others Korean culture.
Sign Up for the Korean Names Workshop on Engage
Sign Up for the Korean Names Workshop on Givepulse
Japanese Tea Garden Self Guided Walking Tour 2 - 4 p.m. meet at the Japanese Tea Garden
A great way to end the Asian New Year Week Long Celebration. Join others, travel solo, or hang with a group of friends on a self guided walking tour of the Japanse Tea Garden. Not too far from campus come take a walk to see a beautiful Japanese Tea Garden here in San Antonio.
Sign Up for the Japanese Tea Garden Tour on Engage
Want to more about the Japanese Tea Garden, just click below to find out.
Learn More About the Japanese Tea Garden
Many Names of Asian New Year
Lunar New Year
- Seollal (South Korea)
- Tet (Vietnam)
- Losar (Tibet)
- Spring Festival or Chun Jie (China)
- Imlek or Sin Cai (Indonesia)
- Tahun Baru Cina (Malaysia and Brunei)
- Wan Trut Chin (Thailand)
- Spring Festival (Taiwan)
- Bagong Taong Tsino (The Phillipines)
- Lunar New Year (Hong Kong)
- Novo Ano Lunar (Macau)
- Maan Neiuwjaar (Suriname)
Lunar New Year is celebrated with family and friends. The origins of the Asian New Year festivals are thousands of years old and come with many legends and traditions.
Many countries in Asia also celebrate the Gregorian/Western New Year (Jan 1), the Lunar New Year (based on the lunisolar calendar) and the Solar New Year.
Solar New Year
The Solar New Year (Sanskrit: Mesha Sankranti) is based on the sidereal year (Earth's sun movement relative to the constellations) and celebrated when our sun enters the Aries constellation, but now standardized to April 14th to match the vernal (spring) equinox in the northern hemisphere.
India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka have many names for Solar New Year represented by the large range of languages in South Asia. Most common are Bohag Bihu (Assam, India), Sangken (Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, India), Buisu/Buzhu/Biso in (Tripura, Mizoram, Kernataka, Kerala, India and parts of Bangladesh), Vaisakhi (Punjab, India), Aluth Avurudda (Sri Lanka), Nepalese New Year (Nepal). There are many more names than are listed above.
South East Asia celebrates under the names Songkran (Thailand), Choul Chnam Thmey (Cambodia), Pi Mai (Laos), and Thingyan (Myanmar).
In East Asia, the Chinese Dai (an ethnic minority in Yunnan) celebrate it as the Water Sprinkling Festival.
How to Wish Our Community Happy Asian New Year
恭喜发财 (Gōng xǐ fā cái): “Happiness and Prosperity”
This is one of the most commonly used greetings in Chinese New Year, which is a wish for one to receive happiness and prosperity.
新年快乐 (Xīn nián kuài lè): “Happy New Year”
The “Gōng xǐ fā cái” greeting is usually followed up by this Happy New Year phrase.
大吉大利 (Dà jí dà lì): “Lots of luck and profits”
身体健康 (Shēn tǐ jiàn kāng): “Enjoy good health”
阖家幸福 (Hé jiā xìng fú): “Happiness for the whole family”
工作顺利(Gōng zuò shùn lì): “May your work go smoothly”
吉祥如意 (jí xiáng rú yì): “Good fortune according to your wishes”
Chúc Mừng Năm Mới (chook-moong-numb-moi): “Happy New Year”
This is the easiest and most commonly used greeting during Tết.
An khang thịnh vượng (ang khang tinh vuoung): “Security, good health, and prosperity”
This phrase is usually added onto Chúc Mừng Năm Mới
Sức khỏe dồi dào (suok kwea yoi yao): “Plenty of health”
Vạn sự như ý (vant-su-nhu-ee) “May all your wishes go according to your will”
새해복많이받으세요(sae hae bok manhi bah doo seh yo): “Happy New Year”
To be more specific, this phrase means “Please receive lots of luck this New Year”, but it is generally understood among Koreans as the standard Lunar New Year greeting.
희망찬새해되세요 (hee mang chan sae hae dwe se yo): “May your New Year be filled with hope”
새해에는가정에행복이가득하길바랍니다 (sae hae e neun ga jeong e haeng bok i ga deuk ha gil ba ram ni da): “Wishing you abundant happiness within your family”
あけましておめでとうございます "Happy New Year” Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu.
よいお年をお迎えください。"I wish you will have a good year." Yoi otoshi omukae kudasai.