Gōng xǐ fā cái! Chúc Mừng Năm Mới! 새해복많이받으세요! Happy Lunar New Year!

This month, the Lunar New Year will be celebrated around the world by folks of many different cultures and heritages including China, Vietnam, the Philippines, and some parts of Japan. The Lunar New Year starts with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends on the first full moon, typically lasting about 15 days. However, a few days before and after are also often used for celebrations – often with lanterns, parades, performances, decorations, and food. 

What Is Lunar New Year

The lunar calendar is based on moon cycles, so the dates of the Lunar New Year celebration can change slightly each year. Lunar New Year 2024 starts on February 10 and ends on February 24.  

The Chinese zodiac, or shengxiao, refers to the circle of 12 animals that measure the cycles of time. Signs or animals are determined by the lunar year in which you were born. 2024 is the year of the Dragon 🐉 according to Chinese zodiac. Personality traits of people born in the year of the dragon are charismatic, intelligent, confident, powerful and they are naturally lucky and gifted. 

Legend has it that a god beckoned all animals to bid him farewell before his departure from Earth. Only 12 of them, namely the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig arrived, with each given a place of honor in a year based on the order of arrival. In the Chinese zodiac, the Dragon is in fifth place, being beaten by the Rat, the Ox, the Tiger, and the Rabbit.

How The World Celebrates Lunar New Year

Here are a few local celebrations you can check out:

Saturday, February 3 (11 am- 4 pm), Oakland Asian Cultural Center, Lunar New Year X Black History Month 2024: Celebrating Asian & African American Solidarity

Saturday, February 24, 2024 (5:15-8:00 pm), The San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade and Community Street Fair

Named one of the top ten Parades in the world by International Festivals & Events Association, the Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco is one of the few remaining night-illuminated Parades in North America and the biggest parade celebrating the Lunar New Year outside of Asia.  

Sunday, February 18 (11 am), The Oakland 2024 Lunar New Year Parade – Year of the Dragon  

“Our 2023 parade was Oakland Chinatown’s first Lunar New Year Parade in more than 50 years, and we aim to continue that tradition. We’re working to make 2024 a more special event! Bring your enthusiasm, come dressed in your most festive outfits, and support the community!”