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For those who celebrate the Lunar New Year, the festival seems to be all about visitations, steamboats, cookies and red packets. Like many other festivals, the Lunar New Year has evolved to take on different meanings and significance over its long history.

At the astrological and cultural level, the Lunar New Year is a celebration of the new year according to the lunar calendar, which is based on the monthly cycles of the moon’s phases. Come 22 January, the first day of the Lunar Year, there will be a new moon in the night sky. Believed to have started more than 3000 years ago during the Shang Dynasty, the Lunar New Year originated as a custom where sacrifices are made to ancestors or gods, or nature is worshipped, in order to bless harvests at the turn of the year. Symbolically, the Lunar New Year celebrates a new beginning.

Today, perhaps what people associate most with the Lunar New Year is the social aspect of the occasion – the family reunion. At its core, the Lunar New Year is about family – be they blood relations or close friends.

lunar new year

“Video conferencing tools are an excellent way for family members to gather during special occasions.” What are your views?

For those who celebrate the Lunar New Year, getting your child to write about their experience of the festival is a good way to reflect on what it means to them. Here are two composition questions to get your child thinking!

Show these questions to your children and ask them to think about what they would write as the Lunar New Year approaches – and see their attitudes toward the holiday change.

Question for Primary School students

Write a composition of at least 150 words about reunion. The pictures are provided to help you think about this topic. Your composition should be based on one or more of these pictures.

lunar new year

Consider the following points when you plan your composition:

  • Who were the people involved?
  • What did the people do?

Question for Secondary School students