About the Lunar New Year

Information about the Lunar New Year that begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar rather than January 1 which is celebrated according to the Gregorian calendar.

The Lunar Calendar

The Lunar New Year 4722 will be celebrated on 10 February 2024, the second new moon after the December solstice. It celebrates Xin Nian, the Chinese New Year, Solnal, the Korean New Year, Tết, the Vietnamese New Year, Tsagaan Sar, the Mongolian Lunar New Year and also Losar, the New Year celebrations for Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. Traditionally Shōgatsu, the Japanese New Year was also celebrated on this date but since 1873, the official Japanese New Year has been celebrated according to the Gregorian calendar, on January 1 of each year. In most of these nations the Gregorian calendar is used for civil purposes but the lunar calendar is used to determine festivals and auspicious dates such as weddings and moving house.

The lunar new year is based on the traditional Chinese Agricultural Calendar which is lunisolar, primarily lunar but partially solar, guided by the movement of the moon as well as the sun. It is commonly called the lunar calendar.

The Chinese lunar calendar is associated with the Chinese zodiac, Shengxiao (‘born resembling’), which has 12 animal signs: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. Each animal represents a year in a 12 year cycle, beginning on Lunar New Year's Day. There are many legends concerning the choice and order of the animals and their characteristics which are said to be imparted to people born in their year.

*One such legend is the Jade Emperor’s Race. As the story goes, the Chinese emperor held a race to determine which lucky animals would have the honour of being added to the calendar. The first-place winner would claim the first year of the 12-year cycle, and so on. The rat won the race and the first year of every cycle is therefore a year of the rat. The year 2024, Chinese year 4722, is a Year of the Dragon.

Year of the Dragon and the Dragon Lizard

2024 is the Year of the Dragon.

The Australian Chinese Zodiac was developed to promote understanding between Chinese and Australian cultures by the Chinese Precinct Chamber of Commerce in Australia. Animals from the traditional zodiac have been matched to native animals according to their perceived similar characteristics. This year the Dragon is matched to the Dragon Lizard.


Dragons are vibrant, energetic, short tempered and majestic. They are also honest, brave and protective of their own kind.


Dragon Lizard 龙蜥

Dragon Lizards are noted for their majestic and sometimes frightening displays. They are brave and also protective of their own kind.

与龙相似,龙蜥的威严震慑来源于其有点可怖的外表。 他们同样勇敢,保卫同伴义不容辞。

In Vietnamese culture, 2024 is the Year of the Dragon.

How schools can be involved

Year of the Dragon, Milperra Public School Year of the Dragon, Milperra Public School
Image: Year of the Dragon, Milperra Public School


  • DoE

Business Unit:

  • Educational Standards
Return to top of page Back to top