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Lunisolar or Lunar Zodiac

Asian New Year

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 at 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.

Asian New Year at UIW

UIW has a long history of Celebrating Asian New Year, usually a banquet style event with performance groups.

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

Jan 31, 2022 - Sweeping the House

11 a.m. - 2 p.m. and 5 - 6 p.m. at the SEC Concourse

Stop by the Natural Cleaning Supplies Booth hosted by Campus Life.

Stop by our Donation Station to get rid of old home supplies and clothing.

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 year Asian New Year, Feb 1, is a traditional day to bring in new items for the home, including new clothes

Jan 31 through Feb 11, 2022 - Virtual Stories of the Lunar 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

Feb 1 through Feb 11, 2022 - Lantern Display at the Caf

Stop by the UIW Cafeteria to see a display of lanterns across the dining space.

Join us at the Fair to create your own lanterns for your home or leave them at the booth to be used to add even more lanterns to the Caf.

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 legent 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.

Feb 1, 2022 - Asian New Year Fair and Fashion Show

11 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the SEC Concourse West Gate Circle

UIW hosts over 10 indoor and outdoor booths showcasing traditions, cultures and packaged food from different countries across Asia.

Also enjoy a live DJ and fashion show organized by Asian Culture Club Advisor Dr. Lopita Nath featuring traditional dress from across South, East and Central Asia.

Want to participate in the Fashion Show - email Dr. Lopita Nath, Chair of the History Department and the Coordinator of the Asian Studies Program.

Feb 2, 2022 - Asian New Year Fair and Crafts

11 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the SEC Concourse and West Gate Circle

UIW hosts over 10 indoor and outdoor booths with interactive booths traditions, cultures and packaged food from different countries across Asia.

  • Red Envelopes and Blessing Messages - hosted by iHouse
  • Make your own Lantern - hosted by UIW Asian Culture Club
  • Pick up a delicious recipe to make your own Lunar New Year food.
  • and much more!

Also enjoy a live DJ and dance performance from the UIW Asian Culture Club.

Feb 10, 2022 - Exploring the Asian Markets of San Antonio

10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Go on your own, invite a group of friends, or meet some new friends and take a trip to the many Asian markets in San Antonio.

UIW students and staff are encourages to experience the diversity of cultures within San Antonio. For a full list of stores participating, visit Engage (link posted soon)!

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

Chinese:

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”

Vietnamese:

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”

Korean:

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”

Past UIW Asian New Year Celebration