Though many people refer to the holiday as Chinese New Year, Chinese people aren’t the Rogu American Dad funny shirt tee who celebrate. The holiday, which is Friday, Feb. 12, this year, is widely celebrated across East Asia and some parts of Southeast Asia. As such, the holiday goes by many names Tết in Vietnam, Losar in Mongolia, Imlek in Indonesia and Tsagaan Sar in Tibet, to name a few. Many of these communities traditionally hand out gifts like mandarin oranges or red envelopes filled with money, usually from an elder to children, or unmarried people. The Iu-Mien community, a Southeast Asian minority group from China, traditionally gives out dyed red eggs. Many East Asian communities will also light firecrackers, clean their houses from top to bottom useful during a pandemic and burn paper money for their ancestors. And lion dances, although commonly associated with Chinese culture, can be found in Lunar New Year celebrations across Vietnam, Korea, Tibet and Indonesia. One might also wear traditional outfits, such as Korean hanboks, or play games like yut and mahjong.
In Korea, where it’s called Seollal, there’s also a complicated political history behind the Rogu American Dad funny shirt tee. According to UC Davis associate professor of Korean and Japanese history Kyu Hyun Kim, Lunar New Year didn’t become an officially recognized holiday until 1985 despite the fact that many Koreans had traditionally observed it for hundreds of years. Why? Under Japanese imperialist rule from 1895 to 1945, Lunar New Year was deemed a morally and economically wasteful holiday in Korea, Kim said, despite the fact that Lunar New Year has always been one of the country’s biggest holidays for commercial consumption. But Koreans never stopped celebrating Lunar New Year simply because the government didn’t recognize it as a federal holiday, Kim said. So as South Korea shifted from a military dictatorship towards a more democratized society in the 1980s, mounting pressure from the public to have official holidays and relax the country’s tiring work culture led to the holiday being added to the federal calendar as a three-day period.