A new Lunar New Year means a new way to celebrate! Due to the ongoing pandemic, Monterey Park’s traditional Lunar New Year street festival has been canceled. However, the City of Monterey Park Recreation and Community Services Department wants to help families get the New Year started off right with some fun and rewarding activities.
While many countries celebrate the New Year on January 1st, the first day of the Gregorian Calendar, some countries in Asia follow a different calendar called the Lunar Calendar. Many of these Asian countries celebrate Lunar New Year, which may also be known as Spring Festival, Chinese New Year, and many others.
The Lunar Calendar is measured by lunations, which is the amount of time it takes for the moon to go around the Earth. A lunation is complete when the moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, which takes 29 ½ days. This results in months being 29-30 days and a Lunar Calendar year of about 354 days. The Lunar New Year begins on the first new moon of the year, so Lunar New Year falls in January or February each year.
Fortune Tales - The Story of Lunar New Year
For a brief history of Lunar New Year and its traditions in Chinese culture, the City of Monterey Park has collaborated with Panda Express in the following video.
"In this video, learn all about the traditions and legends that make Lunar New Year one of the most exciting times of the year."
-PandaExpressTV via YouTube
Lunar New Year - Around the World
Below, are five examples of countries that celebrate the Lunar New Year based on the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar. Here, you can learn about how some countries and cultures recognize and celebrate the holiday.
Download the questionnaire sheet below and visit any of the following parks (Barnes, Garvey Ranch, George Elder, and Sequoia). While at each park, search for three red lanterns. Each lantern will contain an interesting fact about Lunar New Year and provide you with the answers you seek to complete the questionnaire. In addition to the fact, there will be a clue to help you figure out a secret word. Find all the clues to complete the secret word and submit your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to win a prize.
If you prefer to stay indoors, download our “Good Luck Bucks.” Parents are encouraged to reward their children with printed “Good Luck Bucks” for good behavior and deeds. Participants can submit a photo showcasing all their “Good Luck Bucks” and email it to email@example.com for a chance to win a prize.