February may be the shortest month of the year, but it also feels like the busiest. This year, the month will start grand – with the festivity of Lunar New Year 2022 on February 1. Chinese New Year and Lunar New Year are like two peas in a pod, but the latter is also celebrated in other Asian countries.

Lunar New Year marks the start of a calendar year that is based on moon cycles. As early as the 14th century BC under the Shang Dynasty, the tradition has been followed and usually landed between the end of January and mid-February. Last year, it fell on February 12. The celebration, however, isn’t a one-day affair but a 15-day entrancing holiday spent with family and friends. They prepare for it by cleaning their houses, preparing symbolic foods, putting up vibrant decorations, and letting off firecrackers. Several parades and other festivities are also held.

Based on 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 goal to remove the bad and old and welcome the new and good, the Lantern Festival finishes the 15-day celebration by letting paper lanterns off into the sky.