Pope’s greetings for Chinese New Year

At the end of his General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis greeted all those who mark the new year according to the traditional Chinese calendar. He urged for prayers for peace, dialogue and solidarity among nations.

By Robin Gomes

Also referred to as the Spring Festival in mainland China, the Chinese New Year is one of the several Lunar New Years of Asia.  It is celebrated by ethnic Chinese and non-Chinese people worldwide. 

It begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends on the first full moon of the lunar calendar, 15 days later.  The New Year is dedicated to the Rat. 

At the end of the General Audience the Pope noted that on “25 January next, in the Far East and in various other parts of the world, many millions of men and women will celebrate the Lunar New Year”.

“I send them my cordial greetings, wishing them in particular to be places of education in the virtues of welcome, wisdom, respect for each person and harmony with creation,” he said.

He concluded inviting “all to pray also for peace, dialogue and solidarity among nations: gifts which are so necessary in the world today”.