In Australia, and particularly in Sydney, we live surrounded by an amazing and inspiring variety of cultures, each of them blending with each other yet still following tenaciously their customary traditions in terms of food, religion, and even relationships. However, under the homogeneity dictated by the Gregorian calendar –the internationally most widely used civil calendar since Pope Gregory XIII introduced it in October 1582—a largely endorsed lunar calendar is still leaving its mark on many people’s lives around the world every year.
Lunar New Year (LNY), also referred as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, is the most festive holiday of the year in most Asian countries such as China, Vietnam, Thailand, and Korea. For centuries of China’s agrarian tradition, this was the one period when farmers could rest from their work in the fields. Family members from near and far would travel to be with loved ones in time to usher out the old year and welcome in the new.
Lunar New Year is the first day of a secular lunar calendar whose months are coordinated by the cycles of the moon. The lunar calendar is not coordinated to a solar calendar and thus may progress or retrogress through the solar year by comparison, depending on whether the lunar calendar has more or fewer than 13 months. However the LNY is adjusted, it normally falls in January or February.
The duration of the celebration varies from three to seven days, and it can be illustrated by different customs such as cleaning the house, cooking special holiday food, and giving out red pockets for good luck. The theme colors are red and yellow, which represent luck, wealth, and happiness throughout the Asian culture. Decorations may be seen all over households and large iconic public infrastructures, rendering a cheerful and welcoming atmosphere.
In the streets, shops do a flurry of business; selling gifts, new clothes, and festive foods. And the sounds of firecrackers and seasonal greetings are all-pervading. If you travel to one of these countries during LNY, you surely will be astonished by its popularity, nevertheless keep in mind that passenger trains, buses, and river boats are packed with holiday travelers; expenses could be higher; and many businesses will close their door to the public and focus on family and friends instead.
Our AAC&CCI version of the LNY celebration entailed a morning tee with our students and trainers from AAC main campus. Under the vibe of traditional tunes, a few words were said on the importance of family and friends in this time of the year (pretty much like in the Gregorian calendar), and so we all rejoiced in the company of each other; here at Australian Academy of Commerce and Cambridge College International.