Monday February 8th marks the beginning of the Lunar Year of the Monkey for many in East Asia. This huge event is celebrated by millions of people annually across the globe, including our very own International Student Office at D’Youville! Check our celebrations on Wednesday February 10th!
During this time, there is no shortage of street and family festivities and events. The set date for the Lunar New Year varies each year between January 21st to February 20.th In celebration of our diversity at DYC, I’m sharing a few interesting facts about this significant holiday.
Fact 1: Why is it the Year of the Monkey?
This year happens to fall on the Year of the Monkey, the 9th animal out of 12 listed on the ancient Chinese Zodiac. In the past, the zodiac was developed as a means for keeping track of dates, months and years, each year cycling with a different animal. Presently (in order), the animals are: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. Based on this, we can predict that 2017 will be the Year of the Rooster. If you look online, you can find your birth animal and read up on the characteristics of your very own zodiac sign!
Fact 2: What is said about those born in the Year of the Monkey?
It is said that monkeys are witty, intelligent and have great magnetic personality! This year, their lucky numbers are 4 and 9, with lucky colors being white, blue and gold, and their lucky months being August and December.
Fact 3: How long is the Lunar New Year celebrated?
The traditional duration of the Lunar New Year is celebrated for a total of 7 days with the first two days being the most significant. It is recognized as one of the longest holidays celebrated in East Asia.
Fact 4: What is the significance of the Lunar New Year?
Other than being the start of a fresh year for many, the New Year celebrates a year of hard work. It is a time for people to relax and have fun with family, friends and relatives. The Lunar New Year celebrations also signify one’s wishes for a lucky and prosperous coming year; with well wishes for good health, prosperity, success and happiness.
Fact 5: How is the Lunar New Year celebrated?
Food like fish, dumplings, spring rolls, glutinous rice cakes and sweet rice balls are often eaten at this time and signify good luck and prosperity for the coming year. Some families visit temples to wish for a good year ahead. In Asia, it is also a tradition to set off firecrackers to ward and scare of evil/ bad luck. Firecrackers help to sound out the old year and sound in the New Year. The traditional passing of the red envelopes also happens this time of year. Red envelopes have money in it and are traditionally given to children and retired seniors as a means of giving good luck to the receivers.
I hope this helps you learn more about the Lunar New Year!