Hopping into 2023: The Lunar New Year of the Rabbit


Lydia Scott

Yin over Yang: Dubs are expecting prosperity and calmness for 2023, according to predictions for The Lunar New Year.

Upon hearing “New Year’s Day,” many automatically think of January first, which marks the start of a new 365 days in the solar calendar. However, East and Southeast Asian cultures follow the lunar calendar, consisting of 12 complete cycles of the Moon – and celebrate the culturally-vibrant Lunar New Year. The holiday falls on the first new Moon and spans the first 15 days of the first month of the lunar calendar until the full Moon arrives.

An assigned zodiac animal represents each year in the lunar cycle, and the Yin or Yang symbol alternates annually – Yin associated with passive actions and Yang with active ones. 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit and Yin, which plans to bring prosperity, hope, and calmness. Senior Sia Niar, a member of the Chinese Culture Club, is looking forward to much need relaxation after a hectic past academic year. “I’m the Year of the Monkey, but I’m still super excited for this year,” said Niar. “Rabbit years provide balance and harmony to the soul, which I’ll undoubtedly need as a senior and upcoming college freshman.”

Most cultures that celebrate The Lunar New Year do so in the form of a festival. China, specifically, has a myth that explains the tradition’s origins: hundreds of years ago, when monsters were terrorizing the villages, citizens were able to scare away demons with firecrackers, lanterns, and the color red. Today, citizens pay homage to the myth by lighting paper lanterns and setting off firecrackers. During festivals, older family members often give children money in red envelopes, called hong bao, to celebrate the new year. Junior Lily Holt recalls the excitement of celebrating the Chinese New Year at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. “The festival is so much fun,” said Holt. “They offer engaging crafts for kids and unique food choices for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Over two billion people worldwide celebrate the Lunar New Year, so if you are not one of them, consider participating this year. There are a plethora of ways to celebrate, especially in North Atlanta. Consider stopping by Dr. Fangxia Zhao’s room, 11119, on January 24 to join in on the Chinese Culture Club’s festivities – they’re bound to have fun crafts and tasty snacks. Happy Lunar New Year, Dubs. May it be prosperous and bright.