Lunar New Year 2020

Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival and Lunar New Year is a festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year according to the Chinese calendar.

What is Chinese New Year and why is it celebrated?

Being an official public holiday, the oldest and the most important festival in China and to Chinese people all over, Lunar New Year is also celebrated in many countries in Asia. The celebration begins on the first day (new moon) of the first month in the Chinese calendar and ends with the Lantern Festival which is on the fifteenth day. Lunar New Year originated from the people’s sacrifice to gods and ancestors at the end of an old year and the beginning of a new one. This holiday represents the desire for a new life.

When is Chinese New Year?

Lunar New Year is based on the Chinese lunisolar calendar since the holiday date is determined by it and varies every year. Chinese Lunar New Year always falls on the second new moon after the December solstice, which is the winter solstice in the Northern hemisphere and the summer solstice in the Southern hemisphere. It takes place on different dates of the Gregorian calendar, some time between January 21 and February 20. In 2020, the Chinese New Year will be on Saturday, January 25.

The Chinese calendar

The traditional Chinese calendar, which determines the date of the Lunar New Year, is a lunisolar calendar. This means that it is based on a combination of both lunar and solar movements. Unlike the Gregorian calendar which counts years in an infinite sequence, the Chinese calendar counts years in 60-years cycles. A month on the Chinese calendar begins with the day of the new moon and is about 28 days long. An ordinary Chinese year has 12 months, but to keep the year in sync with the Sun and the seasons, the Chinese add an extra 13th month once every second or third year (a leap year). This is why the Chinese New Year falls on a different date each year.

What is the Lunar New Year animal for 2020?

In Chinese astrology, each year is named after one of the twelve animals, which feature in the Chinese zodiac — rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, pig, dog, horse, goat, monkey, rooster. 2020 is the year of the rat.

Happy Chinese New Year!

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