Sunday, 10th February 2024 marks the beginning of the new lunar year. This year will be the Year of the Dragon, the fifth of all zodiac animals. This period stands out for its rarity and significance, emphasising the pursuit of dreams, creativity, and the expansion of horizons. It invites a year of generosity, compassion, and unwavering loyalty among friends and family​.

Also known as Chinese New Year, Spring Festival, or Chunjie (China); Tet (Vietnam); Seollal (Korea); or Losar (Tibet), Lunar New Year is celebrated by about 1.5 billion people around the world!  


Lunar New Year Around the World

Chinese New Year is China’s most important traditional festival, celebrated at the turn of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. Chinese New Year can begin anytime between late January and mid-February.

However, people from all across Asia observe the Lunar New Year – China, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, The Philippines, and more. Many people from these countries, or with this heritage, travel long distances to visit family for this holiday.

In each country, festivities and traditions differ. Many cultures celebrate with:


The Story Behind the Lunar New Year


The Calendar

The lunar calendar has a 12-year cycle, following the moon phases, or synodic (lunar) months. Because of the Earth’s constant orbit around the Sun, the Moon must travel slightly more than 360 degrees to reach the next new moon.

The sidereal month (the time it takes for the Moon to orbit 360° around the Earth in a ‘fixed’ circuit) is shorter than the lunar or synodic month. The synodic month measures the actual moon phases; i.e. from one next moon to the next.

Thus, the dates of the holiday will differ slightly each year, beginning any time between 12 February and 26 February.

The most widely recognised and used calendar worldwide is the Gregorian calendar, dating back to 1582; the time of Pope Gregory XIII. The Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar system that originally evolved out of a lunar calendar system.


The Zodiac

Each lunar year is represented by one of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac.

Legend has it that the Jade Emperor in China held a race to assign the 12 spots in the zodiac to 12 animals. The animals arrived in this order: rat, ox/buffalo, tiger, rabbit (cat in Vietnam), dragon, snake, horse, goat/sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.

According to different myths, the Ox was tricked by the Rat that almost had arrived first in the race. Just as they were approaching the finish line, the Rat jumped down and landed ahead of Ox, arriving first.


What’s in Store This Year?

According to the zodiac, this particular year will be under the protection of the sign of the Dragon. The Dragon is known for its power, boldness, luck, and honour. It is a symbol of strength and good fortune.

Of the five elements of Chinese cosmology (metal, water, wood, fire, and earth), Dragons are often associated with strong yang (masculine, active) energy. They symbolise great authority and are considered leaders or pioneers.

The Year of the Dragon (2024) is expected to bring about innovation and big changes. It could be a year for taking bold steps and embracing transformation. Dragons encourage growth, creativity, and ambition.

The Year of the Wood Dragon is particularly special, symbolising power blended with creativity. It’s a time for expressing ideas, expanding horizons, and being generous and loyal. The next such year won’t occur until 2084, underscoring the uniqueness of this period.

Life is an adventure, and the Year of the Dragon promises to bring excitement and opportunities for those ready to seize them.

Most recent years of the Dragon are 1976, 1988, 2000, and 2012. For fashion, art, and feng shui, the lucky colours for the Dragon this year are gold, silver, and hoary. The lucky numbers are 1, 6, and 7.


So, as a warm welcome to the new lunar year, may we all say:

乐 – Happy Spring Festival! (Mandarin)

恭喜发财 – Wishing You Wealth and Prosperity (Cantonese)

Chúc mừng năm mới – Happy New Year (Vietnamese)


About the Author:

Hailing from Brazil, Carolina has a varied career; she has worked in the automotive, fashion and now the HR sector. At Polyglot Group, Carolina is our Digital Marketing Specialist, where she uses her superpowers in SEO, SEM, email marketing and analytics to help support our marketing strategies
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