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Lunar New Year

Happy Lunar New Year

Join us in embracing the richness of our community’s diverse cultures as we explore the traditions and festivities of the Lunar New Year and Lantern Festival.

In this article, you can learn more about the Year of the Dragon and how to join the celebration that in 2024 spans most of the month of February.

Lunar New Year is a celebration unites diverse communities across East and Southeast Asia.

It is known as Chinese New Year in China, Tết in Vietnam, and Seollal in Korea, standing as a significant cultural milestone for each respective community.

Chinese New Year

In China, Lunar New Year, commonly referred to as Chinese New Year, is a time of vibrant festivities and traditions. Families reunite for lavish feasts, featuring symbolic dishes like fish for prosperity and dumplings for wealth. Streets come alive with the glow of red lanterns, and fireworks illuminate the sky, symbolising the warding off of evil spirits and the welcoming of good fortune. Chinese New Year, like Tết and Seollal, is steeped in cultural heritage and serves as a time for family bonding and reflection.


In the Vietnamese tradition, Tết, or Vietnamese Lunar New Year, holds profound significance. It’s a time when families come together for prayers, while setting aside the trouble of the past year and hope for a better and happier upcoming year. It is also called a Spring Festival.


Similarly, in Korea, Seollal marks the Lunar New Year with its own set of traditional customs and rituals. Families gather at grandparents’ houses, preparing for ceremonial bows and exchanging heartfelt well-wishes like “saehae bok mani badeuseyo.” The atmosphere is filled with anticipation as red envelopes exchange hands, carrying blessings for the new year. Seollal, while sharing similarities with Chinese New Year, showcases distinct Korean traditions and cultural practices.

Traditional Chinese New Year dinner
Traditional Chinese lunar New Year dinner table, party invitation, menu background with pork, fried fish, chicken, rice balls, dumplings, fortune cookie, nian gao cake, noodles, Chinese decorations.

Celebrating Lunar New Year 

The Lunar New Year festivities span 15 days, commencing with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and culminating with the first full moon.

Due to the lunar calendar’s reliance on moon cycles, the holiday dates vary slightly each year. Preceding the new year, households engage in the “sweeping of the grounds” ritual, cleansing away any lingering bad luck.

Traditionally, New Year’s Eve and Day are dedicated to family gatherings and religious ceremonies honoring ancestors. Red envelopes, or “lai see,” exchanged on New Year’s Day symbolise good fortune, while vibrant festivities featuring dances and fireworks fill the holiday season.

Lantern Festival festivities

The celebrations reach a crescendo with the Lantern Festival, marked by colourful lanterns adorning homes and the serving of traditional delicacies. The festival’s origins, include tales of Nian, a fearsome beast feared on New Year’s Day, leading to customs such as red paper decorations, lanterns, and firecrackers to ward off evil spirits.

The Year of the Dragon in the Chinese Zodiac

2024 is the Year of the Wood Dragon. Dragon is the 5th animal in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac signs, coming after the Rabbit and before the Snake. 

The Year of the Dragon is often associated with breakthroughs, innovation, and exciting opportunities, making it a time for adventure and exploration.

Joining the celebrations in the community

The ACH Group Social Team brainstormed the best way to join the celebration and organised various activities and events in ACH Group Residential Care Homes.

Charissa, Event Planner, shared, “It was a split decision regarding what to celebrate specifically – some preferred the Lunar New Year and some preferred the Lantern Festival. Whilst they are separate festivals, one can not exist without the other as the Lantern Festival occurs at the end of the Lunar New Year celebrations. So, we worked on organising activities and decorations to help celebrate both and throughout the month, at a time that suits each of the homes.” 

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To join the celebrations in the community, refer to this guide to Lunar New Year 2024 events in Adelaide.

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