Chinese New Year is a very important traditional holiday among people who have Chinese bloodline. It has been celebrated as a festival to honor ancestors and holy or sacred beings. It’s also called as Spring Festival because “Start of Spring” is the first of the terms in Chinese traditional solar calendar. It’s also popularly known as Lunar New Year since Chinese calendar is lunisolar. As the name suggests, a lunisolar calendar uses both the moon phase and the solar year.
People Celebrating Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year festival is the longest in the Chinese calendar, which lasts 15 days. Each of the 15 days of the holidays has a particular role, such as the day for eating certain foods, the day for visiting family, the day of ordinary men, etc. Not only China celebrates the Chinese New Year but also other Asian countries, including Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea, Malaysia, North Korea, Brunei, Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau. Chinatowns all over the world also celebrate Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year is a festival for about a third of the world’s population.
Chinese New Year Date
Activities and Foods
Chinese find Chinese New Year as the perfect time to perform some spring cleaning. In Chinese tradition, cleaning the house for the New Year celebrations kept away bad luck and helped good fortune to come in for the entire year. Traditional foods served during Chinese New Year include fruitcake known as Neen Gow or Nian Gow, which is believed to cause good luck to stick, and fish, which symbolizes abundance. People buy and wear new clothes, clean the house, and give gifts.
Chinese New Year Festival Decorations
The festival is decorated with something red, the luckiest color in Chinese tradition. Adult members of the family give cash enclosed in red envelopes to their younger relatives. Chinese families stay awake until midnight to greet the New Year, a traditional practice known as Shou Sui. In China, tons of fireworks lighted around midnight, which traditionally thought to scare evil spirits and demons.
Traditional Welcoming Of the Chinese New Year
During the actual New Year, people often greet each other by shouting promising phrases believed to bring luck such as “Congratulations and be prosperous,” and children shout “congratulations and be prosperous, now give me a red envelope!” Each door and window in the house is left open to allow the old year to go out.
Every Chinese New Year starts a new animal zodiac year. The 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac are rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. Each year has one assigned animal sign. People are focusing on doing things that would bring prosperous year, such as reconciling with people, making amends, avoiding wrong doings, and reestablishing old ties.