The term "Lunar New Year" has stirred up controversy around the world, with many Chinese people demanding that museums, amusement parks, and companies call the holiday "Chinese New Year.” Sunday was the first day of the Lunar New Year, but celebrations are continuing throughout the week.
Although the Lunar New Year is a major holiday in China, it is also celebrated in other countries like Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, and more. Some holiday customs are shared across various countries, but they also maintain their own traditions.
When Disneyland Resort wrote a message on Twitter wishing followers a happy Lunar New Year, many Chinese netizens responded with insults and demanded an apology for using the term. The British Museum also received angry responses from Chinese people who were offended by a museum article that mentioned the "Korean Lunar New Year.”
Even some Chinese companies have used the term "Lunar New Year" on social media, and then deleted the posts after receiving heavy criticism for not saying "Chinese New Year.”
National University of Singapore professor Ja Ian Chong (莊嘉穎) said in a recent BBC report that excessive nationalism fuels this controversy and overlooks the importance of cultural sensitivity. He pointed out that Lunar New Year celebrations are different throughout the world, and should not be all grouped together under the term "Chinese New Year.”