Friday, February 03, 2006

It's "Lunar" New Year but not Chinese one only

I've been hearing so many English speaking foreigners talking about "Chinese" New Year recently. I do wonder it's who the nitwit taught the foreign friends the term "Chinese New Year".

Actually the Lunar New Year is an international festival common in East Asia. Not only Chinese, but also Vietnamese, Korean, Singaporean, Malaysian are celebrating Lunar New Year. We Taiwanese attach importance to the Lunar New Year more than the Solar New Year too.

For sure the Lunar New Year and the Lunar Calendar employed in this region originated in China. China has been the leading cultural power in East Asia for more than a thousand years. But since the Lunar New Year has become a festival not only in China, I personally do not think "Chinese" New Year is an appropriate term to call it.

If you ask me why, well, think about it: Does anyone consider the term like "Israeli Christmas" good? No one can deny that Christmas, the festival celebrates Jesus Christ's birthday originated in today's Israel. However the festival has overstridden the border and become an almost global one, and a specific country name put before it would just make it sound weird.

It's Lunar New Year! The New Year belong to we East Asian but not only the Chinese.