Why we should start using the term 鈥淟unar New Year鈥


The Taipei American School lobby has displayed decorations to commemorate 鈥淟unar New Year.鈥 [AMBER WU/ THE BLUE & GOLD]

When late January rolls by every year, the phrase 鈥淐hinese New Year鈥 is heard and used by most people in Taiwan to refer to the celebration of the first day of the lunisolar calendar, which revolves around the positions of the moon. However, many countries also celebrate their non-Chinese influenced new years on the same day as 鈥淐hinese New Year.鈥澛

Although 鈥淐hinese New Year鈥 is widely celebrated by many throughout countries with Chinese ethnicity, such as Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia, we should still recognize other countries with different customs and their new year celebrations by using the term 鈥淟unar New Year.鈥澛

The coined term 鈥淐hinese New Year鈥 only pertains to the Chinese ethnicity celebrating its new year, thus ignoring the other cultural celebrations that take place on the same day. Countries including Vietnam and South Korea celebrate their respective new years on the same day. Vietnamese celebrate their new year (T岷縯 Nguy锚n 膼谩n) by cooking special Vietnamese delicacies, visiting relatives and opening shops, while Koreans celebrate Korean New Year (Seollal) by performing , an ancestral ritual to commemorate their ancestors.聽聽

By identifying the new year of these countries as 鈥淐hinese New Year,鈥 people not only ignore diverse cultures, but also avoid learning traditions from other Asian countries.聽

On the other hand, 鈥淟unar New Year鈥 broadly identifies a holiday that is celebrated by a diverse range of cultures and allows the recognition of other countries鈥 traditions. It is also more considerate and another step forward for us to become a more inclusive society by being willing to understand and accept other cultures.聽

Therefore, when it comes to recognizing the holiday associated with the lunisolar calendar, we should all abandon the term 鈥淐hinese New Year鈥 and use 鈥淟unar New Year鈥 to be more inclusive to other Asian countries celebrating the same holiday.聽