10 Must-Know Facts About Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival. It is celebrated according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, which each year defines the date of the festival between January 21 and February 20. Lunar New Year is famous for its huge celebrations in Chine, Hong Kong, Macau, nine other countries with Chinese population, and Chinatowns of the cities in Great Britain and the USA. It is distinguished by the hilarious spirit of parades, lots of scrumptious food and pastime with family.
In 2017, Chinese New Year takes place on January 28 and it will be the year of the Rooster. Let’s examine the most peculiar features of this holiday!
1. Each year Lunar New Year consists of 15 days of the festival, which starts from the evening of the first lunar month and ends in the night of the full moon.
2. During this period, a significant attention is paid to food. People believe that eating lucky food increases their fortune in the coming year. Fish is considered to be one of the main dishes on New Year’s Eve. Spring rolls, Tangyuan (Sweet Rice Balls), Longevity Noodles, Niangao (Glutinous Rice Cake), and Dumplings also belong to the traditional dishes.
3. Preparations for Lunar New Year start a few weeks before the festival. According to the traditions, homes are cleaned in order to get rid of bad luck, food is cooked, all knives are put away, and streets are decorated with banners and lanterns of red colors, which is considered to be the color representing the vitality.
4. Chinese New Year is a family reunion holiday. The Chinese get together and spend time in a circle of close relatives.
5. Chinese New Year’s celebrations are full of joy and happiness. People prepare gifts for each other. They send red and golden postcards with wishes of good luck. However, the most common present for children, the retired, and employees is a red envelope with money in it.
6. There are traditional “lucky plants”, which serve as a good New Year present as well. Orange trees, tangerines, branches of cherry blossom, stalks of pussy willows are perfect presents during Chinese New Year. Those “lucky plants” can be found in all flower markets, which offer all sorts of merchandise for the house and people.
7. On New Year’s Eve, the Chinese pray for those, who passed away, to please the deceased, which might bring good luck. Families have dinner together devoted to the ancestors.
8. There is a tradition to put food next to the door, hang red lanterns, and launch firecrackers to protect home from evil mythical creature Nian, who used to come and eat children and livestock on the first day of the New Year.
9. Chinese are very superstitious. They keep away from wearing red underwear, crying, sweeping the floor, washing hair, and eating meat on New Year’s Eve. Quite weird, however, obeying these traditions is believed to bring good luck.
10. One more interesting fact about Chinese New Year is that its second day is the birthday of all dogs, during which our canine friends are given more love and food than usual.