Happy Lunar New Year! Ms. Burnikel takes the opportunity to pay homage to five different non-Gregorian calendar New Years around the world. SPRINGFESTIVAL is the English translation of Chūnjié ch. It's a little odd that all the others are in their original languages (transliterated in each case). ROSHHASHANAH was a gimme for this lapsed Jewish atheist, but NOWRUZ (March 21-22, 2022), SOLLAL (also February 1, and sometimes transliterated as seollal), and SONGKRAN (April 13-15, 2022) are all new to me. That, together with the highly segmented grid made the solve time a little long for a Tuesday.
Fortunately, as is typically the case with Ms. Burnikel, the remainder of the fill is smooth and straightforward. The only answer I had a little challenge with was 66A: ELIE Tahari.
|The wrong Raphael|
That being said, there's also little that's sparkling. HERBERT and RAFAEL are each their own kind of CHAMPS, I suppose. Not much in terms of clever cluework, either.
I have just noticed that the grid is 14 x 16. I feel like there is something going on with the placement of the black squares, but looking up on xwordinfo.com reveals nothing about intended grid art.
Regardless, it's a fine if not terribly exciting puzzle.