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Celebrate the Lunar New Year With Rare Woodblock Prints!

January 20, 2023

Happy Lunar New Year!

To honor and celebrate Lunar New Year, you are invited to stop by the Asian Library to view rare and original New Year woodblock prints.

The prints on display were crafted and produced in the early 1960s by artists from Yangliuqing, a market town in Tianjin, China. Linked to Chinese folk customs and daily life, the prints are popular ornaments for Lunar New Year decorations and express good wishes for the New Year. The exhibit will be on display during Library building hours at the Asian Library (3rd floor of Honnold Library) until February 28, 2023. You can also check out this blog post for more information about the prints on display, as well as explore books on East Asian folk arts available here at The Claremont Colleges Library.

Lunar New Year’s Day is called 春節 (pronounced Chunjie, meaning Spring Festival in China, and in Korea it is called설날 (pronounced as Seollal, meaning the first day). It is one of the most important traditional festivals celebrated in China, Korea, Vietnam, Singapore and overseas Chinese communities in Southeast Asia and other parts of the world. The holiday celebrations traditionally take place in the span of 15 days and, in China, it is formally concluded with the Lantern Festival. The holiday is marked by family gatherings, traditional foods, folk games and traditional festival activities.

This year, the special holiday commemorates the first day of the Chinese and Korean Lunar Calendar on January 22, 2023, sending away the year of Tiger and welcoming in the Year of the Rabbit. The rabbit is the symbol of peace, tranquility, harmony and prosperity in East Asian culture. The Chinese character for Rabbit 兔 is pronounced “Tu”, similar to the character for “福 fu” which means both fortunes and happiness. So, the year of the rabbit also symbolizes a year of fortune and happiness.

May the year 2023 bring much-needed peace and harmony to the world!