Lunar New Year

The Lunar New Year is the most important social and economic holiday for billions of people around the world. The holiday is tied to the lunar-solar Chinese calendar and was originally observed as a time to honor household and heavenly deities and ancestors. Today, Lunar New Year is a special time to bring friends and family together for feasting and festivities in China, Korea, Vietnam, Japan, Mongolia and other countries all over the world.

Celebrate with Us!

Case Western Reserve University typically celebrates Lunar New Year with a fireworks display, popular Asian snacks, and giveaways for students. While the global pandemic has forced us to change our plans for 2021, we have come up with some opportunities for our campus community to celebrate the year of the Ox in a safe, socially-distant way. 

This year, the Center for International Affairs will have a special Lunar New Year outdoor photo backdrop set up in the KSL oval from February 8 - 12 for students, staff, faculty and alumni to take a holiday photo and send to us to share on social media! Photos can be emailed to

Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter so you can see all of this year's photos well as throwbacks of previous Case Western Reserve Lunar New Year celebrations! 

We've also compiled some videos and information below of Lunar New Year traditions and celebrations around the world that you can experience from home!

Explore Lunar New Year Traditions & Celebrations Around the World

Fun Facts

  • The Lunar New Year is a time of beliefs. Those who celebrate don’t take out the trash or clean on the first day, as doing so is said to wash away your luck and prosperity. The second day, considered the beginning of the year, is spent with family. The third day is seen as a day prone to arguments, so visiting family and friends is avoided!
  • The new year is determined by the lunar calendar and the holiday lasts 15 days.
  • Legend says that “Nian,” a half-dragon, half-lion monster, comes out of hiding and attacks people (especially children) during the Lunar New Year. Fireworks are used to scare him away!
  • Sugary foods are especially important because they are believed to sweeten prospects for the coming year.
  • “Hesuipian” is a movie collection entirely devoted to Lunar New Year in China and Hong Kong.
  • While the Lunar New Year is a time of traditions and beliefs, the most important aspect of celebrating the holiday is having a great time with friends and family!

For more information on the holiday, visit Kelvin Smith Library’s Research Guide to Lunar New Year.