The new moon on Jan. 31 marks a new year in the lunar calendar and ushers in celebrations for Lunar New Year, which falls on Feb. 1, 2022.
This marks the end of the Year of the Ox and the beginning of the Year of the Tiger, according to the Chinese zodiac.
The Lunar New Year is the biggest holiday of the year in China, and celebrations span the globe. It's usually marked by the 15-day Spring Festival, during which many people travel home and host family reunions.
Locally, the annual Phoenix Chinese Week Chinese Culture and Cuisine Festival will again forgo an in-person festival due to "the uncertainty surrounding the highly transmissible omicron variant." In 2019, thousands of people attended the three-day celebration at Margaret T. Hance Park, which marked the festival's 30th anniversary.
There will still be ways to celebrate in person in metro Phoenix: Two large events will incorporate Lunar New Year celebrations in Mesa.
MORE THINGS TO DO: For restaurant reviews, travel tips, concert picks and more, subscribe to azcentral.com.
How to celebrate Lunar New Year in Phoenix
For the second year in a row, organizers of Phoenix Chinese Week said they would hold no in-person Lunar New Year celebrations "out of an abundance of caution" during the pandemic.
For 30 years, the mission of the week has been to "unite communities, share our culture and educate younger generations on our unique heritage through our annual Chinese New Year Festival and cultural outreach programs."
Resources from the 2021 virtual festival are available online. Highlights include a children's pavilion, virtual stage, culture and history village and food pavilion.
Explore the virtual festival at http://www.phoenixchineseweek.org/virtual-festival.
Asian District Night Market in Mesa
In celebration of Lunar New Year, Mesa's Asian District Night Market will return to the AZ International Marketplace parking lot with musical performances and food and drink vendors.
Details: 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29. AZ International Marketplace, 1920 W. Broadway Road, Mesa. Free. https://www.asiandistrictmesa.com/events.
Asian Festival in Mesa
The Asian Festival will celebrate both the new year and new signage at the Sycamore/Main Street Light Rail station recognizing Mesa's Asian District. The program includes performances such as taiko drumming and lion dance, an unveiling of the sign and a New Year celebration.
There will be around 30 vendor booths and 12 food vendors that represent various Asian cultures.
According to the event's website, "The Asian Festival is the inaugural event that we hope to expand to various other events supporting the Asian District throughout the year."
Details: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5. Park and Ride at Main Street and Sycamore, Mesa. Free. https://asianfestivalaz.com.
Chinese New Year 2022 animal: What does the Year of the Tiger mean?
There are 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac, and each has its own set of personality traits. The order is: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.
The Year of the Ox spans Feb. 12, 2021, to Jan. 31, 2022. The Year of the Tiger starts Feb. 1.
Those with a tiger zodiac sign are considered "quick-witted, resourceful, versatile, idealistic, confident, brave," according to Phoenix Chinese Week's information on the zodiac signs.
If you were born during the Year of the Tiger, this might be a year to watch out for. Some believe that one's own zodiac year presents obstacles that could either bring misery or new opportunities.
The most recent Year of the Tiger was 2010. Prior Years of the Tiger include 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986 and 1998, but you should double check your zodiac year if you were born in January or February.
Chinese New Year traditions
There are some do's and don'ts for celebrating Lunar New Year in China when it comes to setting yourself up for good fortune in the coming year.
According to a CNN Travel guide, fireworks, cleaning and dumpling-eating are popular ways to ring in the new year. Here are some Lunar New Year traditions and common practices:
Out with the old, in with the new: Setting off fireworks will scare away evil spirits.
Cleaning one's home ahead of the new year is thought to rid the space of bad luck. However, sweeping your house on the first day of the new year will wipe away any good luck.
Red envelopes containing money (preferably crisp bills) are handed out to younger family members who are in school or unemployed.
The Lantern Festival marks the end of the 15-day celebration on Feb. 15.
Chinese New Year food
Eating certain foods is believed to bring good fortune, health and wealth in China, though some are region-specific. The reason could be the way the name of the food sounds when said aloud or the symbolism of the item's shape.
Some of these lucky foods include:
Tangyuan (sweet rice balls).
Fruits such as oranges, tangerines and pomegranates.
Nian gao (rice cakes).
Phoenix Chinese Week has videos on how to make wontons and desserts such as walnut cookies, almond cookies and sesame balls at home at http://www.phoenixchineseweek.org/virtual-festival.
Support local journalism. Subscribe to azcentral.com today.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Lunar New Year 2022: Celebrate the Year of the Tiger in Phoenix