A salient traditional holiday

We join the nearly 1.5 million Filipinos with pure Chinese ancestry —around 1.8 percent of the 106 million Filipinos to date—and the substantial portion with at least some Chinese ancestry in celebrating on Tuesday the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival.

A salient traditional holiday

There is a difference between the Chinese New Year and the New Year observed by majority of Filipinos who use the Gregorian Calendar, which is based on a solar calendar.

The Lunar New Year is based on a traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar whose dates indicate both the phase of the moon as well as the time of the solar year, where a lunar month is around two days shorter than a solar month.

Reason why, according to the solar calendar, the Chinese New Year falls on a different date each year—for the Lunar New Year to “catch up” with the solar calendar.

As in any culture, New Year is celebrated differently.

But we pause and mark the Lunar New Year with our brothers and sisters in the Chinese community, given that we have a strong quotidian denominator with them, starting from the time Chinese soldiers and guerrillas joined in the fight against the Japanese Imperial Forces during the Japanese Occupation in the Philippines from 1941 to 1945.

Chinese-Filipinos were also integrated in the US Armed Forces of the First and Second Filipino Infantry Regiments of the US Army.

After the war, the Chinese community in the Philippines, as did other Chinese communities in other parts of Asia, became preeminent in the economies of their host countries.

Today, while the number remains fluid, many Filipino-Chinese in the second or third generation, who belong to either Hokkienese- or Cantonese-speaking groups of the Han Chinese Ethnicity, are active in helping build a better Philippines.

It is only appropriate that we celebrate with them.

Xīn Nián Kuài Lè!

Topics: Lunar New Year , Spring Festival , Chinese New Year , Japanese Imperial Forces
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