This Monday (January 23) is the Chinese New Year, which is one of the most important Chinese holidays. The Chinese New Year is referred to as the “Lunar New Year.” Chinese New Year is celebrated throughout Asia and other parts of the world in countries with significant Chinese populations, including Mainland China, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and in Chinatowns elsewhere.
According to Chinese tradition, each year is dedicated to a specific animal (the dog, dragon, horse, monkey, rat, boar, rabbit, rooster, ox, tiger, snake, and ram). This is the Year of the Dragon, which is associated with excitement, unpredictability, exhilaration, and intensity. Other New Year customs and traditions include special meals, new clothing, and firecrackers. Additionally, children receive money in red paper envelopes. Red is the predominant color that is used in New Year celebrations; it symbolizes joy, virtue, truth and sincerity. Chinese tradition also places a large emphasis on reconciliation, forgiveness of grudges, and the wish for peace, happiness, and luck for everyone.
For those wishing to know more about Chinese New Year, check out these great sources available through the IUB Libraries!
Aijmer, Goran. New Year Celebrations in Central China in Late Imperial Times. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, c2003. [Wells Library- Research Collections- GT4905 .A35 2003].
Brothers, Morna Rose. The Dragon Comes to Bloomington: Chinese New Year in Memory and Practice . [Wells Library- Research Collections- Dissertations- BA1000 .B875]
Jango-Cohen, Judith. Chinese New Year. Minneapolis : Carolrhoda Books, c2005. [Education Library- 394.261 JAN]
Welch, Patricia Bjaaland. Chinese New Year. Hong Kong ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1997. [Wells Library- Research Collection -GT4905 .W46 1997]
Yeh, Chiou-ling. Making an American Festival: Chinese New Year in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Berkeley : University of California Press, c2008. [Wells Library- Reserves- GT4905 .Y44 2008]
If you want to learn more about Chinese Astrology and the Lunar Calendar, check out these great sources:
Aylward, Thomas F. The Imperial Guide to Feng-Shui & Chinese Astrology: The Only Authentic Translation for the Original Chinese. New York : Sterling Publishing, 2007. [Wells Library- Research Collection- BF1779.F4 A98 2007]
Bellenir, Karen. Religious Holidays and Calendars: An Encyclopedic Handbook. Detroit, MI : Omnigraphics, 2004. [Wells Library – Reference Department- CE6 .K45 2004]
Lau, Theodora. The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes. New York : Harper, c2010. [Wells Library- Research Collection- BF1714.C5 L38 2010]
Additionally, there will be a Lunar New Year Celebration at the Monroe County Public Library on January 21 from 2-4 pm. There will be stories, performances, crafts, and snacks that are presented with the Asian Culture Center. It is free to the public. For more information, click here or contact the Children’s Services at MCPL.
Wishing everyone a GREAT Chinese New Year!