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What is Lunar New Year and how is it celebrated in Australia?

The front graphic of the SBS Lunar New Year 2022 Tiger installation by Chris Yee. Source: SBS

Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year, is an entrenched part of Australian culture. Sydney’s version, for example, is said to be the largest celebration of its type outside Asia.

This year, Lunar New Year's Day will take place on February 1. 

There are four elements to New Year festivities. They begin a week out with Little Year, a day of memorial and prayer followed by New Year's Eve, a day of reuniting and gift-giving.

The Chinese zodiac year begins and ends on Chinese New Year. Each year in the 12 year recurring zodiac cycle is represented by a zodiac animal, each with its own well-known attributes.

The order is Rat, Buffalo, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Chicken, Dog and Pig.

The Spring Festival lasts for fifteen days until the Lantern Festival.

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