As I was searching for links to add to my February Wakelet, I knew that I needed to include some for Chinese New Year, which will be celebrated on Feb. 1 this year (2022). I am always struggling to be more inclusive with my vocabulary, and was surprised to learn that there are other countries (notably Korea and Vietnam) that celebrate the New Year based on the cycles of the moon. This means that it is probably more fitting for us to call this holiday the “Lunar New Year” so that we are acknowledging all of those who observe this holiday, rather than just one large one. It might be interesting for your students to do some research to find out how the Lunar New Year traditions differ in each of the three main countries who celebrate it.
Though it may seem like just semantics to call it Lunar New Year instead of Chinese New Year, I am painfully conscious that centering the holiday around one country made me unaware that others also celebrated until I was 53 years old. It’s not a small thing to ignore something that is important to millions of people. So, now that I know, I will definitely try to use “Lunar New Year” unless I am referring to a country-specific celebration. Here are some student perspectives on why they believe the phrasing is important.
By the way, Google “Chinese” or “Vietnamese” or “Korean” New Year, and wait a moment on the page for a special surprise!