Holiday Types

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by Nam Nguyen | Jan 26, 2019

Discover the traditional customs to celebrate Lunar New Year in Asia with Asia Senses!


Lunar New Year is the most important event of the year to many Asian countries such as China, Mongolia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.
If you are about taking a Lunar New Year trip to these countries, don’t ignore this article because it is a useful handbook for you on this holiday journey!

China/Vietnam

Lunar New Year is the most meaningful holiday of the year to Vietnamese/Chinese people. It is an opportunity for families member to gather after a long, hard year. Traditional Chinese New Year usually lasts for 15 days and each day has a different meaning. However, the first 3 days of the new year are the most important.

The first day, beginning right after New Year's Eve is the day to welcome the gods. Many people, especially Buddhists, will abstain from meat and avoid killing insects. Some people also believe that burning fire and using a knife on the first day of the new year will give them bad luck all year long. Therefore, the dishes for that day were all prepared from the previous days. The first day is also a day for children to express their gratitude to their grandparents and parents.

The 2nd day is called the new year's start. On this day, married women will return home to visit their parents and relatives.

The 3rd day is the incense day. On this day, people often go to the temple or pagoda to pray for good things coming to themselves and their families. This is not an appropriate day to greet guests or visit someone. During the Lunar New Year holiday, Vietnamese/Chinese people hold many exciting activities to drive away evils and welcome the new year with joy and happiness.

Mongolia

One of the two biggest holidays in Mongolia is the Lunar New Year, also known as Tsagaan Sar or the White Month. This is not only a holiday signaling the end of a long and cold winter, welcoming a new spring but it is also a time for families to gather and tighten their relationship.

In preparation for this important New Year, the Mongols clean houses and stables to welcome a "clean" new year. Moreover, before New Year's Eve, they even washed dishes with horse milk.

During the 3 days of Lunar New Year, the Mongols will wear only national costumes. People often gather at the oldest person’s home in the region. After that, they talked together, had fun, exchanged dishes and enjoyed them. Traditionally, older people will not receive wishes from their spouses, but other family members.

Malaysia/Singapore

About 80% of Singapore's population is Chinese so the country attaches great importance to the Lunar New Year. Preparing for this great holiday started a few weeks earlier before New Year’s Eve. Families will buy new clothes and clean the houses.

The most important part of the new year is the family's annual meal on New Year's Eve. Don’t be surprised when you see many fish dishes on the tray of Singaporeans because according to custom, eating fish at the beginning of the year will bring good luck.

During the Lunar New Year, people give lucky money (which is called “ang pow”) to the child and the elderly. In addition, they also exchanged ripe citrus fruits, symbolizing luck. In particular, all those gifts must be in pairs, because Singaporeans believe that the odd number will bring about misfortune.

Understanding the culture and customs of a country is the first thing you need to prepare when starting your trip. Asia Senses hopes that with the useful information above, you will have a perfect journey with your family this holiday season. We will not take any day off to design the best tour for you!