The Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival or Chinese New Year 2023, is widely observed in nations like Canada. According to the Chinese calendar, it is the first day of the New Year. The Lunar New Year marks the start of a lunar calendar, also known as a lunisolar calendar, whose months correspond to moon cycles. Numerous cultures mark the occasion in unique ways and on varied dates. Scroll below to learn more about the Lunar New Year 2023 calendar and celebration.

History of Lunar New Year 2023

On the first new moon of a country’s calendar, millions of people throughout the world celebrate the Lunar New Year. Although the term ‘Lunar New Year’ is frequently used in English, it actually refers to celebrations based on both a lunar calendar and a lunisolar calendar. The Islamic New Year, commonly known as the Hijri New Year, takes place between October and December and is based solely on the lunar calendar. In East and Central Asia, a lunisolar calendar is used to time non-Muslim Lunar New Year celebrations such as Chinese New Year.

A few Lunar New Year celebrations, such as those of Vietnam and Korea, fall on the same day as those of China in late January or February because of their ancestry in ancient China and their foundation in the Chinese calendar, or a deviation from it. Therefore, the duration of the holiday and the customary celebrations slightly differ. Other cultures, like those of Burmese, Lao, Sri Lankan, Cambodian, and Thai people, celebrate the Lunisolar New Year in the middle of April.

Apart from this, in the USA, the Lunar New Year firmly belongs to Chinese Americans, which is usually known as a ‘Chinese New Year’ among people belonging to non-Chinese backgrounds. In some nations, Chinese New Year 2023 is the official name of the celebration in countries such as Malaysia, Brunei, and Singapore. And the festival is known as ‘Spring Festival’ in China. The Lunar New Year was founded in 1911 in the Republic of China. The Nisga’a people of Canada also celebrate it. Different cultures use different methods to determine the first day of a new lunar year. Let’s learn more about it by using the lunar new year 2023 as an example of what people do on this auspicious day.

How Do People Spend Their Time?

For many Canadians, the Lunar New Year is a colourful and joyous time. This celebration, which can last for several days, frequently includes a variety of events like street parades and festivals with customary traditional Lunar costumes, food stalls, dancing, firework displays, and arts and crafts booths.

Many Chinese families in Canada like exchanging gifts, especially the red envelopes carrying money (Hong Bao, Ang Pao, or Lai See) that are typically given to young children. Some Canadian groups have also celebrated the Lunar New Year by hosting a variety of events over the years. For instance, Canada Post has in the past released special stamps to celebrate the Lunar New Year. In the past, the Royal Canadian Mint has also released a new series of coins to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

Traditions of Lunar New Year 2023

In Canada, the Lunar New Year is not a national holiday. To participate in the Chinese New Year celebrations, some Chinese enterprises may, nevertheless, change their regular business hours or close on that day. In towns or cities where Lunar New Year events are conducted, there may be a lot of traffic, and a few of the streets may be closed.

  • Historical Overview

The history of the Chinese community in Canada dates back to the 19th century. Chinese people migrated to Canada for a variety of reasons, including job possibilities and growth-related prospects. Cities and larger towns across Canada started to create their own Chinatown districts in the 1890s.

Before World War II, more than 60% of Chinese Canadians lived in British Columbia, according to resources like the Library and Archives Canada. However, for many years following the lifting of the Chinese immigration prohibition in 1947, the province only took in one-third of incoming Chinese immigrants. As a result, Chinese families began to settle all over Canada. Today, Canada is viewed as a multicultural nation where annual celebrations of holidays like the Lunar New Year take place.

  • Signs and Symbols

The Lunar New Year contains a variety of traditions and symbols. For instance, flowers play a significant role in New Year’s decorations. Many homes and workplaces include writings that make good-luck references. They are often painted with a brush on a piece of red paper cut into a diamond shape. As symbols of fortune and riches, tangerines and oranges are also frequently displayed in houses and shops.

A common hue for money envelopes (Hong Bao, Ang Pao, or Lai See) is red, which denotes joy, fortune, success, and happiness. The majority of the time, youngsters receive these envelopes as gifts. One of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac has an animal name linked with each Lunar New Year.

Different Countries Celebrate The Lunar New Year 2023

Year  Date  Weekday  Holiday type Festival name
2018 16th February Friday Observance Lunar New Year
2019 5th February Tuesday Observance Lunar New Year
2020 25th January Saturday Observance Lunar New Year
2021 12th February Friday Observance Lunar New Year
2022 1st February Tuesday Observance Lunar New Year
2023 22nd January Sunday Observance Lunar New Year
2024 10th February Saturday Observance Lunar New Year
2025 29th january Wednesday Observance Lunar New Year
2026 17th February Tuesday  Observance Lunar New Year
2027 6th February Saturday Observance Lunar New Year
2028 26th January Wednesday Observance Lunar New Year

What Are The Best Places in Canada To Celebrate Lunar New Year?

The Chinese New Year of 2023 in Canada excited people with numerous celebrations in Vancouver and Toronto.

The Lunar New Year happened on January 21, 2023, which brought a lot of events and tons of fun to the country.

  • Vancouver

People celebrated Lunar New Year 2023 at the dr. Sun Sen Chinese Classic Garden in Chinatown on January 21st and 22nd. Visitors attended live performances by Maggie Dang and Selena Yu. Aside from that, people enjoyed watching Hon hsing Athletic Club perform a traditional lion dance, which was flawlessly executed. Besides this, there were many other events, such as tea ceremonies, crafts, the arts, calligraphy, and storytelling.

    • Chinatown’s Yearly Spring Festival

The 49th Spring Festival celebration was held in Chinatown, Vancouver, on January 21st and 22nd to celebrate the start of the year of the rabbit. Thousands of visitors attended the ceremony.

  • Toronto

Toronto hosted the celebration of the Lunar New Year at its very own Chinatown on January 21st and 22nd. The Chinatown BIA is a non-profit organisation that offers multiple attractions such as Chinese folk dances, fortune telling, calligraphy, a lucky draw, a lion dance, and a Chinese orchestra. Moreover, there was also the cash prize Mah-jong King competition at the end of the event. 

    • Celebration of Lunar New Year at the Bent way

The Bent way is a public space and expressway that frequently hosts events for the arts, winter ice skating, and community events. Visitors also enjoyed the performance of the Hong Luck Kung Fu Club, which was featured in Chinatown. The community partners also contributed, along with the local food vendors, and the skate trail was open for visitors.

In a Nutshell

Lunar New Year is not nation-specific, nor is it date-specific. The occasion is based on the moon cycle, thus it happens on different days in every other country and is celebrated differently as per the culture of that country. As it originated in ancient Chinese history, it is also referred to as a Chinese New Year 2023 celebration by many people across the world. You can get the diets on the festival from the above detailed guide.

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Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

Is Lunar New Year a public holiday in Canada?

In Canada, the Lunar New Year is not a national holiday.

Does the Lunar New Year always fall in the month of January?

Because the lunar new year is celebrated according to the lunar cycle, the dates of the celebration and holidays can fall anywhere between late January and early February, i.e., between January 21 and February 20.

Is the Lunar New Year only for Chinese?

The Lunar New Year is celebrated not only in China but also in a number of other Asian nations and territories, such as South Korea and Singapore, and also in Vietnam.

How long is the Lunar New Year?

The lunar calendar determines the new year, which is a 15-day celebration.