chinese new year, or lunar new year, which is “correct”? linguistically speaking, there’s no right or wrong
every year when we celebrate Chinese New Year (CNY) here in Singapore, there would be pple calling these holidays Lunar New Year, instead of CNY. “Chinese New Year” should be the more scientific and proper term, which our officials at MOM have also recognised and adopted:
WHY is CNY a more scientific and proper term in the Singapore context? context is important to take note, for language use is often, if not always, contextualised. let’s examine three(3) reasons:
1. The Chinese calendar is a lunisolar calendar. it takes into consideration BOTH orbits of mother Earth around the Sun, and the Moon around Earth. it is NOT a (pure) lunar calendar. these two calendar types are DIFFERENT scientifically. therefore, if one insists to call it LNY (singaporeans just love capitalisations & acronyms very very much), LNY should refer to Lunisolar New Year. “Lunar” new year is unscientific.
2. In multi-racial Singapore, we observe public holidays celebrated by the different ethnic groups. CNY originates from the Chinese ethnic group. while one may argue that LunarNY may “belong” to other pple in other parts of the world as Wikipedia have suggested, in the local context, we are obviously not celebrating this day becos the Japanese, or the Korean, or the Cambodian are celebrating it. it is Chinese New Year we are celebrating, based on our local multi-racial & cultural context.
3. If we were to trace how the Chinese called these (holi)days in the Chinese language, we have 春节 or 元旦 (used in contemporary P.R.China and ancient China respectively). Singaporean Chinese call these days 华人新年 or 农历新年 (note: 农历 is a 阴阳历, a lunisolar calendar in other words). neither in Singapore nor China do we hear “阴历新年” or “月历新年” or “月亮新年” if “Lunar New Year” were proper.
i think i can work out more reasons. but three should be enough as we have already examined the scientific aspect, cultural aspect, and the linguistic aspect of the phenomenon. on this day before CNY, “除夕” (chu-xi) as we call it, may i wish you “新年快乐，万事如意。身体健康，心想事成！”
this is 乙未（羊）年, year of the Goat btw (：