Welcome to the David Victor Vector Blog

Welcome to the David Victor Vector blog. This is blog that covers religious observances around the world international affairs and global business. This blog describes religious holidays for most major religions as well as raising issues dealing with globalization, international business ethics, cross-cultural business communication and political events affecting business in an integrated world economy. I look forward your discussion and commentary on these articles and subjects. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Year of the Snake: Lunar New Year Celebrations Around the World 2013

This is one of four posts on the Asian Lunar New Year which  begins on Sunday February 10, 2013.  This post lays out the wide range of events taking place outside of those countries.  With 88 festivals and parades listed here taking place in 21 countries, I hope you'll be able to find one near to you to take part. 

This is the Year of the Snake. To learn more about the significance of this particular lunar year, please see the post at  

You may also wish to read the post on the business impact of the Asian Lunar New Year. I have described this  for the Year of the Snake at 


as well as for last year (for the Year of the Dragon) at


Today’s post first indicates where the Lunar New Year is an official state holiday. To learn more about the celebrations in China, Korea, Tibet and so on, please see my earlier post entitled "One New Year, Many Traditions: Lunar New Year Customs Around The World" at


Next, the post goes on to share the locations of events being held this year elsewhere throughout the world.


The Asian Lunar New Year is a public holiday with varying lengths in several countries.

Many Chinese, Bhutanese and Mongolian communities unofficially are closed for the entire New Year’s week (including the preceding or following weekends in many cases). The dates of observance for Tet in Vietnam and Seol (at least by some) in Korea may extend well beyond the official dates as well, especially in rural areas. This somewhat parallels the slowing or shutting down of work and school for Christmas in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Americas.


The Asian New Year in various countries is officially recognized by the state in 15 countries, as follows:

Bhutan: Officially off for Losar but the dates are not officially specified. As some festivities last up to 15 days, this means that the time when things are open or closed is somewhat unclear for about two weeks.

Brunei: The first Day of Lunar New Year is an official holiday. If that date lands on a Friday (the Islamic day off), the official observance is moved to the next day on Saturday. It is significant that the Chinese and Vietnamese in Brunei are only a minority, but the state still recognizes the first day of the Asian New Year as a sign of respect to an important minority population. 

Christmas Island

Christmas Island: Christmas Island is a territory of Australia, and not a full country. Still, since (unlike Australia), the territory recognizes the first two days of the Lunar New Year as an official holiday, it is listed here. If the holiday falls on a Sunday (the Christian day off), it is extended until the following Tuesday.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong: Though technically part of the PRC, Hong Kong has considerable autonomous control. The first three days of the Chinese New Year are official holidays. This is one day longer than on the Mainland.


Indonesia: The first day of the Lunar New Year is a holiday. It is significant that the Chinese and Vietnamese in Indonesia are only a minority, but the state still recognizes the first day of the Asian New Year as a sign of respect to an important minority population. 

Macau: Macau, like Hong Kong, is technically part of the PRC, but has considerable autonomous control. As with Hong Kong, the first three days of the Chinese New Year are official holidays. This is one day longer than on the Mainland.

Malaysia: The Chinese are Malaysia's largest minority and a major part of the overall society. As a sign of respect to that minority, Malaysia recognizes the first two days of Lunar New Year as official holidays.


Mongolia: Bituun (New Year's Eve) and first three days of Tsagaan Sar are official holidays.

North Korea

North Korea: The first day of Seol is an official holiday.

The Philippines

The Philippines: The first day of the Lunar New Year is a holiday, although the Chinese community is a minority within the country.

People's Republic of China: New Year’s Eve and the first two days of the New Year are holidays in the PRC. That said, the government usually officially makes the New Year a seven-day holiday. By doing so, the Chinese may have the days off but are then required to work during either the preceding or following weekend (or another weekend if agreed upon).  Businesses and schools, in turn, consider the two weekend days as being the weekdays that were missed. While this clarifies issues such as overtime pay or extra school days, this nonetheless makes predicting when something is actually shut down or open very difficult at this time of year. 

Note also that Hong Kong, Macau and Tibet all are part of the PRC but have different Lunar New Year official times off (as noted elsewhere in this list).
Taiwan: In Taiwan the Lunar New Year’s Eve and the first three days of the Chinese New Year are official days off. Additionally, the fifth day of the Chinese New Year is an official day off for the Dragon Boat Festival (or Duan Wu Festival). This effectively makes the fourth day of the New Year an unofficial day off.

Tibet: Although Tibet is part of the PRC, Losar is officially recognized as a holiday for the first seven days of the Lunar New Year. This is done as a recognition of the cultural traditions of the Tibetan ethnic minority.

Singapore: Singapore recognizes the first two days of the Lunar New Year as official days off. Approximately 74% of Singapore's population is Chinese in ethnicity.

South Korea

South Korea: The first three days of the New Year (known by some Koreans as Seol) are officially recognized as a state holiday.


Vietnam: The last two days of old year and first three days of Tet are officially recognized as state holidays.

 Year of the Snake Celebrations Around the Globe

Year of the Snake poster, Seattle
Of course, many of the most important parades and celebrations for Chinese New Year, as one would expect, taking place in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Taiwan. Similarly, Losar celebrations take place in Bhutan and Tibet; Tet celebrations in Vietnam, Seol celebrations in Korea and so on.

The emphasis here, though, is to show how widespread observances for the Asian Lunar New Year have become throughout the world and to encourage you to consider attending one of these if you live nearby.

Asian Countries Without Lunar Year Tradition


The Philippines

Manila's Chinese New Year Parade begins in Binondo.
The oldest Chinatown in the world, Binondo was already well established
as a trade center when the Spanish arrived in 1521, and remains
an active center of Filipino Chinese commerce and culture to this day.


Nakon Sawon Chinese New Year Parade (left)
The Chinese community has been present in Thailand 
since the Ayutthaya Period (ca. 1350 CE) 


Chinese New Year in Adelaide
* Brisbane   http://chinesenewyear.com.au/bris_home.html

Chinese New Year festivities in Sydney
include fireworks over the harbor


Vancouver's Chinese New Year Parade
annually draws over 50,000 spectators
who watch its over 3000 participants

Rotterdam's Chinese New Year Parade

New Zealand

Auckland: http://www.eventfinder.co.nz/2013/chinese-new-year-festival-market-day-2013/auckland/epsom

Wellington http://www.chinesenewyear.co.nz/?page_id=2

United Kingdom

Birmingham's activities take place at Arcadian Centre

Chinese New Year Parade at Trafalgar Square, London

United States

Lion Dance during Chinese New Year
at Butte, Montana
* Butte, Montana http://goldwest.visitmt.com/listings/15393.htm 

* Falls Church, Virginia http://dc.about.com/od/specialevents/a/Chinese-New-Year-In-Falls-Church-Virginia.htm
The Lunar New Year Parade in Flushing, Queens
is the New York area's largest with
over 4000 people marching annually 
* Flushing, Queens, New York http://queens.about.com/od/flushing/p/Chinese-New-Year.htm (this is actually the largest New York City area  Lunar New Year Parade).

* Houston, Texas   http://lunarnewyearhouston.com/

The Tet Parade in Orange County, California's Little Saigon
is one of the largest outside of Vietnam
* Irvine, California (Orange County Litte Saigon Tet Parade) http://www.ocregister.com/articles/year-383092-city-parade.html

* Jacksonville, Florida http://www.usjca.org/Home.aspx

* Los Angeles, California  http://www.lagoldendragonparade.com/   

* Phoenix, Arizona http://phoenixchineseweek.org/

Raleigh, North Carolina http://eventful.com/raleigh_nc/events/chinese-new-year-celebration-/E0-001-053209366-1

* Rockville, Maryland http://www.visartsatrockville.org/lunar-new-year

* Sacramento, California (Hmong New Year Festival)  http://sacramentohmongnewyear.com/

San Antonio's Year of the Snake logo

* San Diego, California http://sdcny.weebly.com/

San Francisco's Chinese New Year Parade
is the largest one outside of Asia.
It is sponsored annually by Southwest Airlines.
* San Francisco, California  (the largest in the USA) http://www.chineseparade.com/   

* San Jose, California (Tet Parade) http://www.hoitetsanjose.info/highlights/

Washington DC Chinese New Year Parade

Other Countries

The Paris Chinese New Year Parade is one of Europe's largest


There are undoubtedly many celebrations that I have overlooked here. Please do let me know events that you know about and share them on this blog if you would like to do so before the New Year begins. Also, I will try to include them next year.

Happy Year of the Snake!


Year of the Snake opening clip art: http://www.colourbox.com/image/year-of-the-snake-image-4728589

Seattle Year of the Snake poster  http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/hprofile-ak-ash4/c0.0.160.160/p160x160/203570_542385059107158_1809864213_n.jpg

Year of the Snake 2013 at start of global celebration listings:  

Celebrants at Penampang, Saba on the island of Borneo: http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/01/08/28-lions-awaken-for-chinese-new-year/

Binondo, Manila parade: http://epicstreet.blogspot.com/2011/02/manila-chinese-new-year-2011.html
Birmingham parade: http://www.cnybirmingham.org.uk/

Chinese New Year in Adelaide http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_6mr3i_Vmz3c/R62xAa7qfLI/AAAAAAAAABo/KgYMltcAeQI/s640/P1040851cdp.jpg

Sydney Chinese New Year Fireworks: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_ZbsLP5d7yh0/TU92FKZznNI/AAAAAAAAACM/Vsj5Q6XMYnk/s1600/CNY-Fireworks1.jpg

Lion Dance during Chinese New Year at Butte, Montana: http://goldwest.visitmt.com/listings/15393.htm 

San Antonio Year of the Snake logo:    http://www.texancultures.com/asian_festival_year_of_the_snake/

San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade: http://www.san-francisco-hotel-reservations.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/san-fran-chinese-new-year-parade.jpg

Washington DC Chinese New Year Parade http://0.tqn.com/d/dc/1/0/l/L/DSC01640.JPG

Paris New Year Parade http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=Paris+Chinese+New+YEar&view=detail&id=FD0CA5B427ABD9225895D6826DFDF0B1C82081C6&first=0&FORM=IDFRIR

Last image Year of the Snake 2013:  http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-RqWOgM7aR7Y/UOIqUqYaVwI/AAAAAAAAAFA/NFX0u5B7CK0/s1600/2013-Year-of-the-Snake-design-2+(1).jpg

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee, http://EN.WahooArt.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8LT475.
    The image can be seen at wahooart.com who can supply you with a canvas print of it.