Lunisolar or Lunar Zodiac

Asian New Year

Year of the Dragon Legend

Year of the Dragon - Learn About the Legend Open

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 2024 - Feb 10 thru Feb 25

This year UIW hosts a full week of events on campus:


Feb 8 - Sweeping House Donations Open
Feb 12 - Virtual Stories of Lunar New Year Across Cultures Open
Feb 17 - Lantern Display at the UIW Cafeteria Open
Feb 19 - Global Eats at the UIW Cafeteria Open
Feb 20 - Asian New Year Market Open
Feb 23 - Japanese Tea Garden Self Guided Walking Tour Open

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. 

Past UIW Asian New Year Celebration