Nacel Open Door sends our wishes to all for a joyful celebration of the Lunar New Year! As an organization dedicated to international education, we lift up this important holiday that is celebrated by people throughout the world, including many of our international exchange students.
While in the United States the New Year’s Celebration only lasts for a day or two, the Lunar New Year celebrations last much longer in other countries and is often celebrated with fireworks, plenty of food, family and community gatherings, and a variety of festivities. Some of the countries who celebrate include China, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, Singapore, Brunei,
the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Mongolia.
Similar to the Western New Year, the Lunar New Year symbolizes letting go of the past and ringing in the present. Celebrations are focused on removing the old
and welcoming the new and the good for the year ahead. Families spend time together and celebrate.
The 12 zodiac animals are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. In addition to the animals, five elements of earth, water, fire, wood, and metal are also mapped onto the traditional lunar calendar. Each year is associated with an animal that corresponds to an element.
In 2024, the Lunar New Year falls on February 10th and marks the start of the Year of the Dragon. The dragon is the fifth animal in the zodiac cycle and represents power, strength, and luck. The element for 2024 is wood, which symbolizes growth, flexibility, and creativity. People born in the Year of the Wood Dragon are said to be ambitious, adventurous, and charismatic. (source)