What is Lunar New Year?
The term "Asian-American" encompasses such a wide range of cultures and countries of origin that it is difficult to choose a single holiday shared by the majority of Asian-Americans, but nearly every Asian and Asian-American culture has a celebration of the lunar new year.
Unlike the Gregorian calendar, in which New Year is always celebrated on January 1, the date of the lunar new year varies from year to year and is based on the cycles of the moon. Lunar new year generally falls between January 21 and February 20.
How is it celebrated?
Customs for celebrating the lunar
new year vary somewhat between
Common lunar new year customs
- Traditional cultural dress
- Large spreads of rich food
- Exchanging money
- Public parades and processions
- Rituals to drive away evil spirits
Republic Day, one of India's three national holidays, is a celebration to mark the introduction of the country's constitution, which occurred in 1950 three years after its independence from England. Republic Day is celebrated every year on January 26 with a large parade in the capital of New Delhi, in which the prime minister lays a wreath at the national war memorial Amar Jawan Jyoti. Of course, there are always smaller celebrations scattered throughout the country, and since most business, schools, and government offices are closed, this allows most citizens who wish to join one or more of the celebrations to easily do so.
75 Years Later
In 2022, 75 vintage and modern
aircraft from the Indian Air Force
performed a fly-by to mark the 75th
anniversary of India's independence.
Want to Know More?
Most countries that have their own Children's Day do not give workers or children the day off, but in South Korea, salaried workers are given the day off, and children do not have to attend school. The intent is to allow families the chance to bond and celebrate the country's most precious asset: its children. In South Korea, Children's Day is always on May 5.
The first Children's Day was celebrated in 1923, thanks to the efforts of activist and children's book author Beong Jeong-hwan who believed that the Korean society of the time did not treat children as it should. Temporarily abolished in 1937 under Japanese rule, Children's Day has continued unabated since 1946.
What about the North?
So how is Children's Day different
in North Korea?
First of all, it is celebrated on
June 1 instead of May 5.
Secondly, the emphasis is not
so much on the children
themselves as it is on the North
Children are expected to participate
in political activities that include
singing hymns to Kim Jong-un.
Want to learn more about other holidays and festivals? See below for descriptions of celebrations from all over Asia and the Pacific. Most lists like this are written with tourists or students in mind but are also great if you just want to expand your knowledge of various cultures.