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

Leão Vermelho no Ano Novo Lunar Source: AAP Image/Jeremy Ng

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 Day will be on February 1st.  

2022 is the Year of the Tiger.

Dr Pan Wang is a Senior Lecturer in Chinese and Asian Studies at the University of New South Wales. 

The Spring Festival lasts for fifteen days until the Lantern Festival, Dr Wang explains the lunar calendar.

"Lunar New Year is the beginning of a lunar calendar year. Based on the cycles of the moon, it can be also called the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival. It's celebrated in China and in other east Asian countries like Korea, Vietnam, Japan, Chinese diasporas and many other countries like Australia. And it has a history of up to 4,000 years, starting from the Xia or Shang dynasty."

Dr Kai Zhang works with the Modern Chinese Language Program at the School of Culture, History and Language at the Australian National University. 

She says Lunar New Year celebrations in Australia are a great opportunity for people from all over the world to learn about Chinese, south-eastern and eastern Asian cultures at large.

"It is a cultural event of long history and of very rich, symbolic, meaning embedded in it. And it is very important for Chinese Australians and other Australians who are from Korea or Vietnam or other countries — originally from south-eastern and eastern parts of Asia. People outside of the Chinese culture or the Eastern Asian culture, by celebrating Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year, can get to know more about Chinese culture, about Korean culture, about all these different groups of people originally from Eastern Asia and the southeastern part of Asia."

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