Is it Politically Correct to say Chinese New Year?

This year, the Chinese New Year 2023, will fall on Sunday, January 22nd, 2023 and end on February 5th, 2023. The Chinese New Year is celebrated for 16 days. Wait, can I still say Chinese New Year, or should I say Lunar New Year, Spring Festival, or something else? With the intention of being inclusive, what should this Holiday be called? Is it Politically Correct to say Chinese New Year? This post contains affiliate links for educational items we use and recommend. 

Is it Politically Correct to say Chinese New Year?

There is nothing wrong or offensive with saying Chinese New Year. However, if a person is referring to the New Year Celebrations taking place in all Asian countries or Asian communities throughout the world as “Chinese New Year” then this isn’t correct either. “Chinese New Year” should not be a blanket term used for this celebration.

Should you say Lunar New Year instead of Chinese New Year?

The Chinese New Year is also referred to as the Lunar New Year. However, the Chinese calendar isn’t really a lunar calendar but a lunisolar calendar. Technically, doesn’t that mean that it isn’t a Lunar Festival?

There are other Asian countries besides China to observe the New Year holiday. How and when the holiday is celebrated in China compared to other Asian countries differs depending on the country, culture, and if they follow the lunar (Gregorian), solar, or lunisolar calendar.

Should you say Spring Festival instead of Chinese New Year?

Our family has been studying this festival as to how it takes place specifically in China and the Chinese community throughout the world. Therefore, we refer to this holiday and celebration as the “Chinese Spring Festival”, “Spring Festival”, and as the “Chinese New Year.” In China, the mainland Chinese call this holiday the Spring Festival.

Korean New Year (Korean Seollal)

Even though we have been focusing on the Chinese New Year specifically, we also researched a little into the Korean Seollal. We read: New Clothes for New Year’s Day & Korean Celebrations. All About Korea was our favorite for a Korean Seollal overview and more. We tried deep bows (Sebae) and playing the game Yunnori for a traditional Korean Seollal celebration. .

Is it Politically Correct to say Chinese New Year?

With the intention of being inclusive, what should this holiday and celebration be called?

Whether you call it Chinese New Year, Spring Festival, Vietnamese Tet, Korean Seollal, Tibetan Losar, or Lunar New Year as long as everyone feels included and welcome to celebrate, you are being inclusive.

You Can’t Go Wrong Saying…

Traditions and customs vary by country, but amongst all Asian cultures the holiday centers on family. If you know someone who is Asian, and they mention celebrating the New Year, you could simply ask them, What New Year do you celebrate?” I think, when in doubt, you really can’t go wrong with saying “Spring Festival.

Lunar, Solar, and Soli-Lunar Calendar

Solar Calendar (also known as the Gregorian Calendar) is unrelated to the lunar months. The modern Western calendar is a a solar calendar. One solar year is one orbit of the Earth around the sun, about 365 ¼ days. Solstices and equinoxes are usually around the same date every year. Every four years, there is one leap-day added.

Lunar Calendar is based on the cycles of the moon. A lunar year is 12 lunar months, about 354 days. One lunar month is one orbit of the Moon around the Earth which is about 29 ½ days. The Lunar New Year Festivals typically begin with the first new moon of the Lunar Calendar and end on the first full moon of the Lunar Calendar. This is 15 days. Since the Lunar Calendar is based on the cycles of the moon, the dates of the holiday are slightly different every year.

Soli-lunar Calendar has extra lunar months. These are called leap months and are added to the calendar. The Chinese and Jewish calendars are soli-lunar calendars. To keep the solar and lunar year somewhat synchronized, around 7 extra months are added every 19 years.

Our family, in addition to the Chinese lunisolar calendar, we are also studying the Chinese sexagenary cycle.

This cycle includes the yin/yang form of the heavenly stems being five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal and water). It also includes the earthly branches which are the rotating list of 12 animals (Chinese Zodiac.

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