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LNY vs CNY

February 9th, 2010

This coming Sunday, in addition to being St. Valentines day to most of the world, also marks the end of the Year of the Ox and the beginning of the Year of the Tiger in the Chinese Calendar.

Someone mentioned to me the other day that they had noticed that it was in-vogue this year, here in Singapore, to refer to the upcoming celebrations, also known as the Spring Festival as “LNY” or “Lunar New Year” rather than “CNY” or “Chinese New Year”.

Since they mentioned it I have noticed more use of LNY than in previous years. I wonder why? Maybe people think “Chinese New Year” is somehow racist or in some other way derogatory?

I don’t know but I think calling it LNY is the tyranny of the masses, at least in Singapore. Since both the Muslim and Indian calendars are lunar based and both lunar new years are public holidays here in Singapore. It should be CNY.

To back up my thoughts I looked it up on Wikipedia and found this choice quote:

…the Chinese calendar is still used for marking traditional East Asian holidays such as the Chinese New Year (or Spring Festival (春節), not to be confused with Lunar New Year, which is the beginning for several lunisolar calendars)

Emphasis mine

Read the rest of the article on the Chinese Calendar [wikipedia.org]. More on the Spring Festival or CNY [wikipedia.org]. Read more on Lunisolar Calendars [wikipedia.org].

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