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Why Prep?
of the Far East





Chinese Lunar New Year
is celebrated in all countries.

Feb 10, 2024 - Jan 28, 2025
Wood-Dragon Year
Photo by me (Leon)


About the Wood Dragon:

In Far Eastern culture, DRAGONS have the following associations:
(1)  Wate

According to Far Eastern lore and Middle Eastern lore (and in Mayan Lore the Sky Crocodile) the DRAGON is LORD of the WATERs..  Yes, this is the year of the wood dragon, but dragons are not typically associated with wood.  According to Chinese mythology, the blue dragon represents water in it's liquid form and the white dragon represents water in its steam and cloud form.  The black dragon represents the cosmic sea of darkness.  The green dragon represents water in vegetation form.  The red dragon is a "demon" that comes out of the darkness of space (the cosmic sea).
(2)  Longevity
According to Far Eastern lore, the dragon is associated with longevity, probably because water never disappears; it just changes form.
(3)  Good Luck
According to Far Eastern lore, the dragon is a symbol of good luck (I guess until it gets "angry").
(Source:  myself through years of research)

Feng Shui
According to FengShui, wood is associated with...
- East
- Spring
- Wind
- The color green.  (Source)

In Chinese astrology, wood is associated with...
- Blue Dragon
- Planet Jupiter
- Benevolence
- Creativity
- Luxury
- Flourishing.  (Source)

In Chinese medicine, wood is associated with sour taste and the eyes. .  (Source)

Putting it All Together
From the looks of it, 2024 will incur some auspicious things, mixed with some inauspicious things.  "But, Leon, isn't that the way it always is?"  Yes!  While the dragon is generally an auspicious symbol, there are bad dragons.  The black dragon can eat the sun (and we will have a solar eclipse on April 8, 2024).  Don't worry, the dragon always spits it back out.

Jupiter and Uranus will conjoin (in the sky) on April 20th.  Jupiter is the planet of expansion, and Uranus is the planet of innovation.  Therefore, I see great strides in technology this year (possibly a digital currency? a new banking system?).

While the dragon is typically an auspicious symbol, I foresee the Blue Dragon (of precipitation) inundating many parts of the planet.  If you put Jupiter (expansion) and the Blue Dragon (precipitation) together, I see water bodies expanding (overtaking much land).  Where the land remains, but receives much water, green things will bloom and flourish.  But, water also brings out the bugs, (like the locusts).  This year (for the first time in approximately 200 years) the 13-year locusts and 17-year locusts both come out of the ground in the U.S.A. as cicadas.  That cannot be good for the crops in the so-called "bread basket" of the U.S.A.

Pluto (the planet of transformation) is in Aquarius this year suggesting a great transformation for the human race.  The last time Pluto was in Aquarius was between 1778 and 1798.  It was a time a great political/governmental change all over the planet.  And, these great transformations seldom come without war.

Go straight to Harvest Festivals in the Far East.


Date &


January 1


(By Gregorian solar calendar)

Learn how to say "Happy New Year" in Far Eastern languages.

Mandarin: Xin nian kuai le
< pronunciation:  shin ni-ehn kwai leu >
(Source:  Me;  I lived in China.
  See my blog.)
Cantonese:  san1 nin4 faai3 lok6!
Taiwanese:  Hsin ni kwai lok!
  (Source:  K.Cheng)
In China, New Year is called, "Xin Nian".
They celebrate with fireworks and partying.  Some of the Lunar New Year Traditions are also incorporated into the Solar New Year.
Akemashite omedetô

pronunciation:  ah-keh-mah-shee-teh  oh-meh-deh-toh

In Japan, it is called, "Shogatsu".
At exactly midnight Dec.31st/Jan.1st, Buddhist temples all around the country ring 108 times, to cleanse the souls of the 108 transgressions.
Sae hae bok manhi baduseyo

pronunciation:  seh-heh boke mahnie pah-doo-say-oh

In Korea, it is called, "SaeHae".
At exactly midnight, the bell (Jong Gak) in central Seoul is rung several times.  It is believed that if lovers hear the bell, they will be in love forever.
Shine jiliin bayariin mend hurgeye

pronunciation:  shin-eh  jilleen  by-yareen mihnd hur-geh-yeh

In Mongolian, it is called, "Shine Jil".

Also, this is the time that ӨВӨЛИЙН ӨВГӨН "Uvliin Uvgun" or "Grandpa Winter" (which is the Mongolian version of the Russian "Ded Moroz" or "Grand-dad Frost") comes to give gifts to the children.

Chúc Mừng Nǎm Mới

pronunciation:  chuck mung nahm moy

In Vietnam, it is called, "Chuc Mung".

It is celebrated just like China.

2nd Monday of January

Day (in Japan)

"Seijin No Hi"

Seijin No Hi is a national holiday in Japan to celebrate all those who become an adult that year.  Age 20 is considered the age of adulthood, when one is allowed to drink, smoke, and vote.

The date varies on the Gregorian Calendar


The first day of

the first month of

Chinese Lunar Calendar

Calendar converter













CHINA:  (Chun1 Jie2)  Literally: "Spring Festival" 
WHY IS IT CALLED "Spring Festival"?

This is somewhat of a mystery.  I have gotten various answers.  None of them make sense.  Here is the most popular answer I have received:
  "Perhaps many millennia ago, perhaps before leap year was discovered, the first day of the Chinese Calendar was closer to spring time."
Mandarin-speaking people say, "Gong Xi Fa Cai," at Lunar New Year.  You can also say, "Xin Nian Kuai Le."  Cantonese-speaking people say, "Gong Hey Fat Choy."  (Source).
The so-called "Spring Festival" occurs almost exactly in the middle, between the winter solstice (Dec.21) and the spring equinox (March 21).  Therefore, it is my opinion that Spring Festival herald's the coming of Spring.
In the part of China, which is called, "Manchuria", there used to be a huge monster (looking much like a dragon, but which I think was a living dinosaur).  In the PRE-SPRING to early spring, it would come down out of the mountains and terrorize the people.  It would destroy villages and even eat people.  After a while, the people discovered that the monster was afraid of loud noises, bright lights, and the color red, which explains why Chinese do fireworks and cover their doors with red paper at the New Year.

Jiao Zi (meat and/or vegetables wrapped in noodles);  Some people call them "dumplings".

KOREA (Seol Nal)  Literally: ?????

According to some people (and some websites), the word "Seol" (
) is an abbreviation of:  "Sae-hae-eui Cheot Nal" (새해의 첫날), which means:  New Year's First Day.  HOWEVER, I DISAGREE !!!
My educated guess is that "Seol" means "washing," because "Seol-geo-ji" means "washing the dishes"; So, perhaps "Seol Nal" means "washing day".  It would make perfect sense, because both the Chinese and Koreans wash EVERYTHING either on or in preparation for Chinese New Year's Day.
Traditions are similar to those of China, but the color red doesn't seem to be important in Korea
Ddeok (an edible dough made of ground rice and warm water), and
Ddeok guk (a soup made of the same).

VIETNAM (Tết Nguyên Đán)  Literally: Feast of the First Morning
This is the biggest holiday/festival in Vietnam!  It's like Christmas!  People take three days off, give gifts, and party with lots of food and drink.  The full name of the festival is above, but most people just call it "Tet" for short.

Feb 3/4


Japanese Lunar New Year

JAPAN (Setsubun)  Literally: "Division of the Seasons"
Not really.  Setsubun is a time to cleanse one's soul before Spring comes.  Setsubun is celebrated on February 3rd or 4th {one day before the first day of Spring (according to the Japanese Lunar Calendar)}. 
One removes all negative energy by throwing beans.  Interestingly, Japanese also take a citron bath at winter solstice to cleanse themselves physically (and spiritually).
Soba Noodles

The first day of the first month of the Mongolian Lunar Calendar


"White Moon"

Tsagaan Sar



The new year starts with the FIRST day of the waxing moon of the new year!


MONGOLIA (Tsagaan Sar)  Literally Means: "White Moon"

Mongolians use their own Lunar Calendar which differs from the Chinese Lunar Calendar.

  Similarities Differences
Lunar Calendar
Apparently, all the calendars are based upon 12 months of 30 days = 360 days each year
So, they add a leap year with 13 months periodically.
They have different dates and different leap years (at different times).
The Mongolian New Year is one day after the Tibetan New Year, because Tibetans use the "new moon" as their new year's day, and Mongolians use the first visible crescent moon as their new year's day.
Lunar Calendar
Lunar Calendar

The Dates of Chinese, Tibetan, and Mongolian Lunar New Years:

Year Chinese New Year
(Also Korea and Vietnam)
(on the new moon)
Tibetan New Year
(on the new moon)
Mongolia New Year
(on first day of visible waxing crescent moon)
2023 Jan. 22 Jan. 22
LoSar lasts for 3 days.
Jan. 22nd  Bituun
Jan. 23rd Tsagaan Sar
Jan. 24th Extra holiday
2024 Feb. 10 Feb. 10 Feb. 10th  Bituun
Feb. 11th  Tsagaan Sar
Feb. 12th  Extra holiday
2025 Jan. 29 ? Jan. 28th Bituun
Jan. 29th Tsagaan Sar
Jan. 30th Extra holiday
Source: Chinese New Year For more info on LoSar Mongol calendar came from Tibetan calendar

Mongolians take three days off for Tsagaan Sar ("White Moon").  Tsagaan Sar is the biggest holiday of the year.  People eat buuz (sounds like "boze"), which are meat dumplings; And, they drink vodka.  They also eat aruul (sounds like "arole") which is milk candy.  It tastes sweet and sour.

The day before Tsagaan Sar is called, "Bituun" (AND IT IS ALSO A DAY OFF).  I looked up Bituun in the Mongolian-English lexicon and it just says, "New Year's Eve".  However, there is a word Bituu~, which means "sealed", "hidden", "blocked".  So, Bituun is literally the "Day of the Hidden Moon".  Mongolian New Year begins with the first of the waxing crescent moon.  The day before (the Day of the Hidden Moon) or "Bituun" is a day of cleaning, cooking and preparing for the feast of New Year's Day.

Mongolians make prior arrangements to visit the homes of certain family members on one day, and other family members on the next, and so on.  People should eat white food, such as buuz, aruul, rice, bread, basically anything white.  The adults will drink vodka and/or distilled fermented mare's milk.  Children drink milk or juice (or nowadays fizzy soda drinks).
  I hope that they brush their teeth before they go to bed!

Traditionally, the first person in the family to see the moon on Tsagaan Sar day (New Year's Day) is supposed to have good luck in the new year.  (Is this the origin of the Korean tradition below?)

The 15th day of the 1st month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar

First Full Moon

Occurs on
Feb. 22, 2015
Gregorian Calendar

"Dae Boreum Nal"  ("Great Full-Moon Day" in Korea)

This is the first full moon of the new year.  I don't think Chinese have traditions on this day, but in Korea the following traditions occur:
1.  Burning of something (I forget what) and the ashes are spread out all over the fields (Korea was mainly an agrarian society in the past); The farmers in Korea still practice that custom.
2.  On the evening, around dusk, the family will climb the nearby mountain (foothill) and the first person to see the full moon is said to have good luck.  (70% or more of Korea is mountainous, so... well you know...).

NOTE:  This is interesting.  The Mongolians (whom the Koreans claim to ancestors of) celebrate the first appearance of the waxing crescent moon, and the Koreans celebrate the first full moon.  Perhaps the Koreans changed the holiday.  But, the interesting thing is that they both revere the moon so much!

February 14

Valentine's Day

All Countries have become aware of the Western "Valentine's Day".  Some countries get into the act more than others.

March 1
"Demonstration Day"  (Also Declaration of Independence Day, when Korea declared independence from Japan)

This marks the day when the Korean people (as a whole) marched to demonstrate against the occupation of their country by the Japanese (and consequently the initiation of war, which ended with the Japanese leaving).  Today, the day is "celebrated," or rather "recognized" by university students finding something to demonstrate about.  Every March 1st, one can see university students marching with headbands, banners, and signs, and chanting for one cause or another.

March 8


(Started by communist Russia, but I like it!)

International Women's Day

CHINA:  Very important day, but not a day off.
KOREA:  Recognized but not really celebrated (because it was started by the communists)
                [Because it is a communist holiday, I'll bet it is really big in North Korea.]
JAPAN:  Probably same as Korea, recognized but not really celebrated.
MONGOLIA:  Very important day!  It's a day off!  (Mongolia had heavy Russian influence).
***VIETNAM:  in Vietnam, Women's Day is October 20th.  (not a day off)***

Author's Note:  China and Korea have "Double 7s Day" which is listed below.


March 14

White Day

"White Day"

To my knowledge, White Day is only celebrated in Japan & Korea.

The idea is that on Feb. 14, a woman is to give the object of her affection some chocolate; And, on March 14, a man is to give the object of his affection candy.

I have no idea why it is called "White Day".

March 20/21

Vernal Equinox

"Shunbun no hi"  [National Holiday]

This is a day for the admiration of nature and the love of living things.  Most countries promote Earth Day, but only Japan (that I know of) has made it a national public holiday.

April 1

April Fool's Day

ALL All Countries seem to at least be aware of the day.  Some have adopted "April Fools' Day" as their own.  [Beware!]
Arbor Day


Arbor Day / "Tree-planting Day"

CHINA:  "Arbor Day" March 12 (National Holiday in Taiwan)

JAPAN:  "Greenery Day" May 4 (National Holiday)

KOREA:  "Arbor Day" April 5 (Not a day off)

MONGOLIA:  "Tree-planting Day" Second Saturday of May and October

VIETNAM:  none (not needed, I guess)


April 14

Black Day

"Black Day"

In Japan and Korea, men who received no chocolate (on Feb. 14) and the women who received no candy (on March 14), celebrate this day by eating noodles.  In Korea, it is traditional to eat Jja Jang Myeong on this day.  Jja Jang Myeon is a dish consisting of noodles and black sauce.

For more information on Korean Food, see my Korean Food page.

10th day of 3rd month of Lunar Calendar

Hung Vuong King's Day

Calendar converter

Vietnamese legend tells of a dragon lord named Lạc Long Quân and a mountain fairy named Âu Cơ who had 100 sons. As the parents belonged to different realms, they parted ways, each taking 50 of the 100 sons to their respective homes.
The eldest son came to power in 2879 BC and became known as Hùng Vương, ruling an area covering what is now North Vietnam and part of southern China. He founded the Hồng Bàng Dynasty, which lasted until 258 BC.
Each successor of the original Hung Vuong took the title of Hung Vuong.  There were 18 Hung Vuongs in all.  (Source: Wikipedia)

Personally, I find this VERY interesting, because Korean history teaches something very similar.  According to "apocryphal" Korean history, from 3898 BC - 2333 BC There were eighteen Han-ungs, each ruling in succession of the other. (Han-ung was a title, not a name). The last Han-ung gave birth to the first Dan-gun.  Interestingly, Dan-gun Day is the 3rd day of the 10th month.  (Opposite of Hung Vuong King's Day).

8th day of 4th
month by Chinese Lunar Calendar

Siddhattha Gotama's

Buddha's Birthday

CHINA:  May 14, 2016 (Not a national holiday)

JAPAN:  April 8 (every year)

KOREA:  May 14, 2016 (National Holiday)

MONGOLIA: Same as Tibet (Mongolians like Tibetan Buddhism)

VIETNAM: probably same as China

May 1

"May Day"

Int'l Labor

International Labor Day (May Day)

CHINA:  In China, everyone is considered a laborer, so everyone gets the day off.  It is the biggest shopping day of the year, so merchants won't take the day off.

JAPAN:  Japan's Labor Day is celebrated November 23rd, coinciding with the imperial harvest festival.

KOREA:  In Korea, "white-collar" professionals don't get the day off.  Only menial laborers get the day off.


VIETNAM:  National Holiday


May 5, 8, 15

5th = children's day (day off)

8th = parents' day (not a day off, unless it is on Sunday)

15th = teachers' day (not a day off, unless it is on Sunday)

The 5th day of the 5th month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar

Double 5's


Calendar converter

  China :  "Dragon Boat Festival".  (not a day off)

Traditional foods are: hard-boiled eggs and "zhong4 zi" (sticky rice wrapped in bamboo leaves).  Little trinkets are made and given as gifts, each having five colors.

  Korea :  "Dan-o", which I think means "double five". (not a day off)

Traditional food is "o-gok bab" (five grain meal).  Traditionally women wash their hair with a particularly sweet smelling herbal shampoo, and men wore roots on the belt.  Nobody does those things these days.

Vietnam:  "Tết Đoan ngọ".  It's not a very big holiday. (not a day off)

I suspect that the number 5 is representative of the Chinese Dragon, which had the appearance of five animals: head of a camel, antlers of a deer, body of a snake, leg and talons of an eagle, and scales of a fish.  The Chinese dragon also had 5 claws and 5 colors.

CHINA:  June 1 (not a day off)

JAPAN:  May 5 (National Holiday)

KOREA:  May 5 (National Holiday)

MONGOLIA:  June 1 (National Holiday) "Mother's & Children's Day"

VIETNAM:  June 1 (not a day off)


July 11-13


"Eriin Gurvan Naadam"  (Three Manly Games)

Started by Genghis Khan, the 'Three Manly Games' include: horse racing, archery, and wrestling.  Every year a national competition is held in Ulaanbaatar of the three manly games.  Only men compete in wrestling, but women participate in the archery competitions, and children participate in the horse racing. 
Learn more; see my blog.

The 7th day of the 7th month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar

Double 7's

Calendar converter


CHINA:  "Qi3 Qiao3 Jie2" (Beg for Skills Day)  [not a day off]

KOREA:  "Chil Seok" (7's Evening) or (Evening of Sevens)  [not a day off]

A story is told in both countries about how the daughter of this one god and the son of another god were forbidden to meet and play with each other, because they were supposed to study.  But, they disregarded their parents' commands and secretly met and played in amorous bliss, until they were caught red-handed.  Their parents were so angry that an eternal curse was place upon the two lovers, that they should be frozen in the sky and never be allowed to meet each other again for all eternity.  But there was a raven that took pity on the two lovers and each year on the 7th day of the 7th month the raven comes to "bridge the gap" between the two lovers.
There are two constellations in the sky, one representing the daughter and one representing the son.  Each year at this time, they can be seen in the sky, almost touching.

Traditionally, on that day, women "studied" to be good homemakers, and prayed for good skills in order to attract a good marriage partner.  But, nowadays, it is a time to recognize women and girls for their contributions to society.  (It's not a day off, though).





National Day

(Lady Liberty)

CHINA:  October 1 "National Day"

JAPAN:  February 11 "National Foundation Day"
                May 3  "Constitution Day"

KOREA:  March 1  "Declaration of Independence Day"
                 August 15  "Independence Day"
                 October 3 "Foundation Day"  (See Legend of Dan Gun)

MONGOLIA:  November 26 "Republic Day" [Constitution Day]

VIETNAM:  April 30 "Liberation/Reunification Day"
                     September 2 "National Day" or "Independence Day"

The 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar


Use this calendar converter to find out when it happens by the Gregorian Solar calendar.  Just type in 8th month, day 15, and the year.

CHINA:  "Zhong1Qiu1Jie2 "  (Mid-Autumn Festival)  [1 DAY OFF]

1.  A special feast with family and relatives, the main food being "Moon Cakes" (cakes made into the shape of the full moon and filled with sweet red beans).
2.  Giving food to the ancestors (at their grave sites).
3.  Burning money (so that their deceased loved-ones can have money in the after-life).  Nowadays, one can see people all over the countryside burning imitation money at this time of year.

KOREA:  "Chu Seok" (Harvest Evening) [3 DAYS OFF]

1.  A huge exodus back to one's hometown, or wherever the senior patriarch lives.
2.  A huge feast, the traditional food being the same as on Seol Nal. (However the kind of ddeok eaten on this day differs.  Don't ask me which one... there are tons of kinds of ddeok).
3.  Giving food to one's ancestors (at the grave sites).  [but this is rarely done these days, especially if one is a Christian, as it is believed that the ancestors don't need the food in their after-life].  {If I can put in my two cents (and I can, because this is my website), I think Koreans should continue the practice (Christian or not), simply to preserve tradition.}.

VIETNAM:  "Tết Trung thu"  (Festival of Mid-Autumn)  [0 DAYS OFF?]
Apparently, it is not an "official" or "public" holiday.  However, it is a very special day.
1.  Lantern-making
The Vietnamese legend of Cuội and his wife, who accidentally urinated on a sacred banyan tree. Soon after desecrating the tree, she sat on one of the tree branches and the sacred tree began to grow and continued until it finally reached the moon, leaving Cuội's wife stranded there. Every year, during the Mid-Autumn Festival, children make and/or light lanterns to show the "moon lady" her way back to Earth.
2.  Moon Cakes
In Vietnam, moon cakes are typically square rather than round, like the Chinese moon cakes.  Many of the moon cakes will have pictures of a carp on them.  The story is that there was once a little carp who wanted to become a dragon.  After working very, very hard towards this goal, the little carp did become a dragon.  Parents tell this story to their children to inspired them to work hard.
3.  Lion Dances  [Vietnamese version of Trick-or-Treating].
Lion dance groups perform on the streets, going to houses asking for permission to perform for them. If the host consents, the "lion" will come in and start dancing as a blessing of luck and fortune for the home. In return, the host gives luck money to show their gratitude.

Sept. 22/23

Autumnal Equinox Day

"Shūbun no hi"  [National Holiday]

While Japan does not celebrate the Chinese mid-autumn festival, this festival happens around the same time, and has a similar purpose: namely to thank the ancestors for a bountiful harvest.


[Int'l Teacher's Day is Oct. 5th].

[Does not appear to be celebrated in the United States of America.  Why not, America?]

CHINA:  September 10th

JAPAN:  ?--Same as Int'l Teacher's Day--October 5--???

KOREA:  May 15th

MONGOLIA:  WAS: First weekend in February;
In 2014, it became the same as Int'l Teacher's Day, October 5th

VIETNAM:  November 20th

Teachers' Day is not a day off (except in Mongolia, when it occurs on a weekend); I mean how are the teachers supposed to get their gifts if they don't go to work?

October 3



"Gae Cheon Jeol" (literally "Open Sky Day")

Koreans prefer to call it "Foundation Day", but I prefer to call it "Open Sky Day".

It is the day that the legendary Dan Gun (pictured to the left) descended from the Hahn country (The "Han-eul" which was in the sky), and from the original Hahn people (Han-saram) and founded the New Hahn nation (Han nara).

Traditionally, people climbed to the top of the nearest, highest mountain, early in the morning at gave offerings and prayed to Dan Gun, the founding father of the Korean people.  Some people still do this, but it is more out of tradition, than real belief in the continued existence and benefaction of Dan Gun.  One place where this is STILL practiced is on Mani San (Mt. Ma-ri) on the isle of GangHwa, which is off the coast of Incheon Metropolitan District.  I have witnessed the ritual, and it is fascinating.  I would recommend it to anyone.

For more information on the origins of the Korean people, see my Korean Origins page.

The 9th day of the 9th month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar

Double 9's Day

Calendar converter

"Zhong4 Gyang2 Jie2"  (Double Nines Day)

A day for mountain climbing and collecting followers (or for city-folk-going to flower shows).

Koreans tell me that it used to be a special day in Korea long ago, but it's not celebrated these days at all.

I wonder if the Vietnamese celebrate it.  I don't remember anything special.


November 3

Culture Day

This originally was an emperor's birthday but it was changed to celebrate peace, freedom, and culture.  It is a national holiday in Japan.

First Day of Winter by Lunar Calendar

Around Nov. 7
by Gregorian

Genghis Khan's

Chingis Khaan's




UB Post's Bayambadorj reported on January 23, 2012 that the government of Mongolia has decided upon which day to celebrate Chinggis Khaan's (Ghengis Khan's) birthday.  No where in recorded history is the exact day or date, although historians agree that it was in the year 1162 in the first month of the winter season.  So, the government finally decided it shall be November 14th.
  The fist national holiday celebrating Chinggis Khan's birth is to be celebrated on November 14, 2012.

Apparently, the Mongolian gov't likes to change the dates of their holidays and not tell anybody.  As of 2013, the NEW National Holiday celebrating Chinggis Khan's birth was November 23.

And, the Mongolian gov't did it AGAIN!  They changed the date of the holiday to November 3rd without telling me!  I went to go shopping at Narantul and it was closed!!!!!  I wish the Mongolian gov't would make up their mind!

Okay, this just in (from the most unlikely source):  Apparently, the date is based upon the Mongolian Lunar Calendar, and that's why it keeps changing.  Funny, how NO ONE IN THE MEDIA cared to mention that little tidbit of information!  Would have been USEFUL!!!!

December 22

Winter Solstice

All countries or peoples of the Northern Hemisphere had traditions regarding the commemoration of the Winter Solstice ("Death of the Sun") and the consequent re-birth of the Sun three days later on December 25th.

Learn MORE about Winter Solstice Traditions around the world.

December 25


All countries recognize this very popular western holiday and have incorporated the idea of Santa Claus into their own culture.  HOWEVER, ONLY KOREA has made it a national holiday.

Korea, as 30% of the population is Christian (and I guess they figured that they needed to give equal time to both the Christians and the Buddhists (as Buddha's birthday is also a national holiday in Korea).

Mongolia considers January 1st their Christmas.  It is from having been a Russian satellite country for many years, they have the idea that Grandfather Winter (uviin uvuu) comes on January 1st with gifts for children.

Learn more about Christmas traditions around the world.

December 31

New Year's

ALL COUNTRIES celebrate this holiday, but it's not a day off in most countries.

In Korea, people almost always have a "mak nyeon hoe" (year-end party), also called a "mang nyeon hoe" (year-forgetting party), the goal of which is to get drunk and forget about the past and look forward to a bright future.

In China, all debts are to be settled at this time and one is supposed to look forward to a new year, debt-free, and hopefully a prosperous one.  Or is this about Chinese New Year?  Actually, Western New Year doesn't seem to be a big deal in China.

Learn how to say "Happy New Year!" in many languages.



Cool Links

Online converter from Chinese Lunar Calendar to Gregorian Solar Calendar

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"Love is all there is;  Everything else is entropy." (Leon)

Love gives you energy and healing. (Leon)