Lunar New Year 2022: Everything to Know About the Holiday

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lunar new year
AsiaVision/Getty Images

Lunar New Year is one of the biggest international holidays with over 2 billion people across the globe celebrating new beginnings. Although the holiday is commonly known as Chinese New Year, Lunar New Year is celebrated by various Asian countries, regions and cultures with different traditions and customs. 

When is Lunar New Year? 

The start of the holiday is determined by the lunar calendar -- the cycles of the moon's phases -- and takes place on the new moon between Jan. 31 and Feb. 15. This year, Lunar New Year begins on Feb. 1, 2022 and is the Year of the Tiger. 

Who celebrates Lunar New Year?

Lunar New Year celebrations usually take place over multiple days; the length varies for every culture. In China, Lunar New Year is also known as Spring Festival or Chūnjié. South Korea (Seollal), Vietnam (Tết), Mongolia (Tsagaan Sar) and many other Asian countries and regions celebrate the holiday. Lunar New Year is typically celebrated with traditional foods, family gatherings, festivals and ceremonies.

What Does 'Year of the Tiger' Mean? 

Every Lunar New Year correlates to one animal and its characteristics from the Chinese zodiac, which is a cycle of 12 years and 12 animals. 2022 is the Year of the Tiger, an animal attributed with courage and leadership. Whether you were born in the year of the rat, ox, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog or pig, according to Reader's Digest, this is the year to be prepared for anything to happen, good or bad, but most importantly don't let the bad take you down with it. If you were born in the year of the Tiger (some previous Tiger years being 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, and 2010), it is said 2022 will be the time to take chances and keep your head up if disaster strikes, great things will happen if you don't give up. 

Will there be virtual celebrations this year? 

As the world continues to follow safety precautions to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, the usual big social gatherings are on hold. However, there are online celebrations for you and the family to virtually enjoy. For example, the Smithsonian American Art Museum is offering a free Lunar New Year Virtual Celebration in partnership with the Chinese Cultural Institute and the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United States of America. It will stream video performances and Lunar New Year traditions on Feb. 5. 

Check out books to read and movies and shows to stream for Lunar New Year 2022 below. 

Beijing - The Traditions of the Chinese New Year
Little Dot Studios/TRACKS/YouTube

Watch this 45-minute documentary from TRACKS, a YouTube travel channel, on the festivities and traditions that take place in Beijing for the Chinese Spring Festival. 

STREAM ON YOUTUBE

Lucky Chow
Lucky Chow

Co-hosted by Danielle Chang and William Li, 'Lucky Chow' is a series that takes audiences on a feast of delicious and diverse Asian foods across America, diving into the personal stories, experiences and heritage of the people who make them. 

STREAM ON LUCKYCHOW.ORG

The Joy Luck Club
Buena Vista Pictures

Based on the novel of the same name by Amy Tan, 'The Joy Luck Club' is a beloved film that follows four Chinese-American women, their relationships with their Chinese immigrant mothers and the struggle between two cultures and generations. 

STREAM ON AMAZON PRIME

Crazy Rich Asians, Henry Golding, Constance Wu
Warner Bros. Pictures

'Crazy Rich Asians,' starring Constance Wu, Henry Golding and Michelle Yeoh, is based on Kevin Kwan's bestselling rom-com novel. The 2018 movie is the first contemporary Hollywood studio film to feature an all-Asian cast since 'The Joy Luck Club' in 1993. It's satirical, glitzy and over-the-top, while exploring Chinese culture in Singapore. 

STREAM ON HBO MAX

Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

This action-packed superhero origin story follows Marvel’s first Asian protagonist, Shang-Chi, as he grows up training to be an assassin. He comes of age and attempts to leave behind a life of crime, but the terrorist organization by the name of Ten Rings comes calling, and Shang-Chi finds his father, Wenwu-- AKA The Mandarin-- at the helm of the entire evil operation. It’s jam-packed with new and familiar faces -- including Simu Liu, Awkwafina and Tony Leung Chiu-wai -- joining or reprising their MCU roles. 

STREAM ON DISNEY+

'Our Lunar New Year: Celebrating Lunar New Year in Asian Communities' by Yobe Qiu is a children's book that educates kids (and adults!) on how Chinese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese and Indian families celebrate Lunar New Year. 

$18$16 AT AMAZON

Thi Bui's debut graphic novel, 'The Best We Could Do,' poignantly illustrates her and her family's experience -- particularly her parents' -- in escaping war-torn Vietnam in the '70s and the struggles they faced while building a new life as an immigrant family in the United States. 

$20$15 AT AMAZON

if i had your face book
Ballantine Books/Amazon

Frances Cha's page-turning debut novel, 'If I Had Your Face,' tells the story of four Korean women living in modern day Seoul. Their interconnected lives give a riveting glimpse into South Korean society, beauty standards and contemporary culture, while serving as a reminder that with strong female friendships and resilience you can get through anything. 

$27$15 AT AMAZON

 

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