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The difference between public New Year and Lunar New Year

"Celebrating the New Year" is a specific festival held every year in many countries and regions around the world, but it differs in form. There are differences in origins and celebration methods between the Gregorian New Year and the Lunar New Year. What are the similarities and differences between these two unique traditional festivals? Where did they originate?

The Origin and History of the Gregorian Calendar/Western New Year

The Western/Gregorian New Year is based on the Gregorian calendar, which dates back to 45 BC and originated from the Christian Julian calendar during the ancient Roman period. Julius Caesar designated January 1 as the first day of the year to honor God Janus. Janus is the door god and double-faced god in Roman mythology. It is said that he has two faces and can see the past and the future. People celebrate the New Year by decorating their homes and throwing lavish parties to set their priorities for the new year, as well as making offerings to the god Janus in the hope that the new year will bring them good luck.

The Western calendar is the Solar Calendar, which means it is based on the Earth's revolution around the sun and changes every season. The Gregorian calendar has 365 days in a year and 12 months, with each month having 30 or 31 days (except February). There is a leap year every four years, and the basic structure of the calendar roughly follows the seasonal solstices (summer solstice, winter solstice). New Year's Eve usually falls on December 31st, while New Year's Eve begins at midnight on January 1st.

The Origin and History of the Oriental/Lunar New Year

The Chinese New Year originated in agricultural society. At that time, farmers often prayed for a good harvest of crops in the coming year. This is why the Chinese New Year is also called the Spring Festival. According to legend, there is a monster called "Nian" who comes to the village every year to eat children and livestock. The only way they can drive away "Nian" is to scare it with red decorations and a lot of noise. Therefore, firecrackers, fireworks, dragon and lion dances, etc. are some of the colorful and powerful traditional performances that have been handed down to this day.

The date of the Chinese Lunar New Year is not limited, usually in January or February of the New Calendar. This tradition is based on the Chinese lunisolar calendar, which means that it follows the rotation of the sun and the different phases of the moon to determine the calendar date. The history of the Chinese calendar can be traced back to the Shang Dynasty in 14 BC. Its appearance is earlier than the Julian calendar and the Gregorian calendar commonly used in the West. Although the Chinese calendar has been adjusted since then, the Lunar New Year usually coincides with the new moon of the winter solstice.

Similarities

The origins of both Western and Chinese New Year traditions are tied to astrology and pagan practices, as they all follow the Earth's rotation (days), the Earth's orbit around the sun (years), and the moon's orbit (months). In addition, they all symbolize people's desire for good luck and prosperity in the new year.

In fact, the tradition of setting off fireworks is not a custom that has always existed during the Chinese New Year, but is a tradition of the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations. Because in the legend about "Nian", fireworks are a kind of noise used to drive away the Nian beast and bring good luck in the next year, so the louder the fireworks, the better. Western New Year traditions focus on whether the fireworks attract the audience. eyeball. The two New Year traditions are similar in that the fireworks are set off at midnight, but in the Chinese New Year tradition, the fireworks show can last for several days.

Differences

As mentioned before, the Chinese Lunar New Year is based on the luni-solar cycle, while the Western Gregorian New Year is based on the solar cycle, so these celebrations take place at different times of the year. Even though there are differences in each other's New Years, due to the increasingly closer connections between countries around the world, most countries and regions accept January 1st of the New Year as the beginning of the new year.

The Spring Festival is the most important and grandest of all festivals in China. People usually go back to their hometowns to reunite with their families and hold large family dinners, such as making and eating dumplings that symbolize reunion, giving each other candies and gifts, and giving gifts to children, single family members, and friends. The way Chinese celebrate the Lunar New Year is similar to the way many Westerners celebrate Christmas, where it is also seen as an important time for family reunions.

The Western New Year tradition is to start party activities on the night of December 31st. To welcome the New Year, people usually buy large amounts of alcoholic drinks and party food in preparation for the New Year's Eve revelry. There is a countdown before midnight and many couples kiss as the clock strikes midnight. The New Year represents a new beginning and is often a time when people set new year's goals and resolve to make new changes in health, happiness and money.

Western (Gregorian New Year) or Chinese (Spring Festival) are usually public holidays that allow people to celebrate, and many companies and schools take 3 to 15 days off.


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