How to celebrate Lunar New Year


Whether you’re an international student celebrating Lunar New Year in the U.S. or someone interested in appreciating the culture and the celebration, we have your guide on how to have a great Lunar New Year at Arizona State University.

What is Lunar New Year?

Lunar New Year begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar. This year, the celebration starts on Jan. 25 and runs for 15 days until Feb 8. Lunar New Year is celebrated by many different cultures around the world, including many represented at ASU.

We spoke to Zhen "Rocky" Wang, a senior at ASU from Kunming, China majoring in supply chain management and business data analytics, about his experience celebrating Lunar New Year away from home. “Back home we usually celebrate Lunar New Year as a family. However, when we are far away from our home, friends are our "family." And for me, this is not bad at all, as you have the opportunity to include people from different cultural backgrounds to celebrate and to learn how people from different places celebrate this event in their homes.”

I’m in it for the dumplings.

We don’t blame you. A steaming basket of soft, delicious dumplings is #foodgoals, and signifies gaining wealth in the new year. Check out this list of restaurants that excel in the flavorful dish, or if you have access to a kitchen and some cooking ambition, try making them yourself. Last resort, drool over this gif. 

… and the luck.

Yes, there’s luck involved. You want to invite it into your home, and the traditional way is to hang the Chinese symbol for luck upside down on your door. Turning the symbol 180° invites the luck into your space. Download and print out your symbol to get in on the luck.

Prosper in the year of the rat.

The zodiac or Shēngxiào (生肖), attributes an animal and its reputed attributes to each year in a repeating 12-year cycle. This year is the year of the rat, a symbol of strength and prosperity. Find the animal that corresponds with your birth year and learn more about the zodiac calendar here.

How do I celebrate?

Gather friends together, eat dumplings and learn about the holiday. Rocky invites everyone at ASU to celebrate: “Everyone in this big Sun Devil family is welcome to celebrate Lunar New Year with your friends. We would love to have you experience this traditional celebration.”


Adulting 101

Sun Devils turn to ASU Adulting 101 to learn (some of) the things not taught in class. Not sure about how to do something? Need to connect with an expert? We got you.


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