Despite being the shortest month of the year, February also feels like the time with a full plate. This year, the month will start in grand custom – with the festivity of Lunar New Year 2022 falling on February 1. Lunar New Year and Chinese New Year are cut from the same cloth, but the former is also celebrated in other Asian countries.

Lunar New Year marks the start of a calendar year that is based on moon cycles. As far back as the 14th century BC under the Shang Dynasty, the tradition has been observed and usually landed between the end of January and mid-February. In 2021, the Lunar New Year fell on February 12. The observance, however, isn’t a one-day affair; it’s an action-packed holiday celebrated in the course of 15 days. People spend this time with family and friends and inspire observers to start anew. In preparation, houses are cleaned, symbolic foods are cooked, striking decorations are put up, and firecrackers are let off. Several parades and other festivities are also a must-watch or be a part of.

In the Chinese Zodiac, 2022 is the Year of the Tiger (February 1, 2022 to January 31, 2023), with water as the element of the year. With the celebration’s goal to remove the bad and old and welcome the new and good, the Lantern Festival caps off the 15-day celebration by letting paper lanterns off into the sky.