Lunar New Year Celebrations

Hot off the heels of the 1 January New Year is the coming of a new moon, Lunar New Year. Roughly one fifth of the world’s population stop to celebrate this annual festival which sees family and friends come together.

Interestingly, each country celebrates in a slightly different yet unique way. Not one to pass up the opportunity to participate in such an exciting time of the year, as we introduce our own Lunar New Year special, we took a moment to find out how our friends from overseas celebrate…

Chinese New Year

As an official public holiday, Chinese people can get seven days leave from work in the Lunar New Year, referred to as Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year follows the tradition of paying respect to ancestors and spending time with family and friends.

Food plays an essential role to bring people together and reward those close to you for a year of hard work. New Year’s Eve dinner at home is considered one of, if not the, most important meal of the year. Millions of people rush to get home to see family and friends before dinner; the so-called largest annual human migration in the world.

Traditionally, red envelopes containing money are gifted. The 15th day of the lunar month (known as Lantern Festival) marks an official end to the traditional Chinese New Year celebration.

Cambodian New Year

In Cambodia, Lunar New Year is not a public holiday, however many Cambodians, especially those with Chinese heritage, like to celebrate.

On New Year’s Eve, Cambodians cook mainly traditional Chinese foods and pray to ancestors, followed by a big family dinner.

On New Year’s Day, red envelopes are gifted to friends and relatives that come to visit with some families even hiring lion dancers to perform.

Filipino New Year

Chinese New Year used to be celebrated solely by Chinese Filipinos, but in more common times, the act of giving moon cakes and New Year’s rice cakes (tikoy) is becoming increasingly popular among the general population.

On New Year’s Eve, fireworks take place in Chinatowns across the country, with dragon dances becoming more common in malls.

Vietnamese New Year

Known as Tet, the Vietnamese New Year is celebrated between late January and early February.

Family and friends come together and pay respect to ancestors with celebrations generally lasting three days up to a week.

Hopes for good fortune and new beginnings are symbolised by various traditional Vietnamese food dishes. Dozens of dishes can be found in houses, markets and shops.

Korean New Year

Lunar New Year in Korea is known as Seollal. During Seollal, the community generally embraces ancient cultural and culinary traditions alongside their loved ones.

It is not uncommon to see people dressed in a Hanbok (traditional clothes), performing ancestral rites, playing traditional games and listening to old folk stories.

Dee Why RSL

According to the calendar, we officially enter the Lunar New Year on 25 January. Our celebrations at Dee Why RSL begin on 1 February as our Asian chefs serve their signature Singapore Chilli Crab every day throughout the month.

Available for lunch or dinner, this local favourite dish is best paired with an ice cold Tsingtao beer from the Bistro bar.

Adorned with red lanterns and a suspended dragon, gather your friends and family and we’ll see you in the Asian

 So, as they would say in Chinese, “xīn nián kuài lè”
(Happy New Year).


Image Source: Bloomberg