It’s Lunar New Year: Happy Year of the Rabbit!
Did you know Sunday 22 January 2023 is the start of the Lunar New Year? It’s the first day of the traditional lunar calendar, a calendar determined by the position of the moon. It’s also known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, and has been celebrated for centuries around the world by millions of people of Chinese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian and other Asian heritages.
This year is the Year of the Rabbit in the Chinese Zodiac – every year is assigned one of twelve animals. The Rabbit is the fourth sign of the zodiac. According to folklore, the order of the zodiac was determined by the order in which the animals arrived at the Jade Emperor’s party. The Rabbit, known for its speed (but also its arrogance) was fourth across the finish line after taking a cheeky nap on the way to the party!
Rabbits are said to be skilful, intelligent and cautious, with gentle and kind-hearted personalities. You can find out which animal you are here.
Traditionally the festival was an opportunity to honour deities and ancestors, but today, Lunar New Year is all about spending time with friends and family, giving gifts and good wishes, and feasting on symbolic foods.
How to celebrate Lunar New Year
- Get involved in local celebrations in cities across Australia: there will be lion dances, firecrackers, traditional music and dance, food and lots of colour and drama! Visit the Australian Chinese New Year website for all the details.
- If you’re in Melbourne, celebrations will take place in the CBD across various locations and dates, and Box Hill will come alive with its annual festival on Saturday 28 January.
- Many people declutter and clean their house in preparation for the New Year, to sweep away the old and make way for the new. Have a read about preparing for the new year and how feng shui (a system of harmonising your environment) can impact your mood and your life, particularly the arrangement of furniture and objects in your bedroom and at your desk.
- Eat some dumplings and purchase some new clothes to wear (any excuse will do!).