Chinese New Year is China’s most significant traditional event. It is a memorable occasion for all Chinese people all around the world. As we’re only a few days away from the much anticipated day, in the spirit of Chinese New Year, here’s a few things you didn’t know about the Lunar New Year. It’s not only a terrific occasion to make a fun craft or activity, but it’s also a great way to learn about another culture while celebrating.
Firstly, the most basic one of all: The lunar calendar is used to determine the Chinese New Year. Or, to put it another way, how long it takes the moon to orbit the Earth. The festival is an important Chinese holiday that lasts 15 days.
As we’re sure most of you already know that, read on to find out more interesting facts about Chinese New Year:
- Chinese New Year Has No Fixed Date
Because it is based on the Chinese lunar calendar, the Chinese New Year fluctuates from year to year. The lunar new year, on the other hand, usually falls between January 21 and February 21.
The first day of the Chinese New Year in 2022 is Tuesday, February 1.
- The Different Superstitions
Even in current times, Chinese people are extremely superstitious during the Chinese New Year, even if they are not at other times.
The Spring Festival marks the beginning of the new year. People in China think that what you do now will affect your fortunes in the following year. There are numerous things you should avoid doing since doing so guarantees you will have terrible luck the following year. Bringing drugs, sweeping and taking out the garbage, saying unlucky words, and so on are examples of these activities.
While spring cleaning is common around this time, the Chinese do not sweep, take out rubbish, or wash their hair or clothes on the first two days of the new year because it is considered unlucky. It is referred to as “sweeping out your wealth” or “washing away one’s fortune.”
- Setting Off Firecrackers To Scare Off Evil Spirits
Firecrackers were used to ward off evil spirits in traditional Chinese culture. On New Year’s Eve, according to folklore, a monster named Nian would appear, devouring villagers and destroying their homes. The people learned that making an explosive sound by burning dry bamboo scared the monster away. Not only is it a fun activity to do for the kids, it also adds to the festive spirit of the Lunar New Year.
- The animal the New Year is named after rotates between 12 animals: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.
Every Chinese lunar New Year begins with the birth of a new animal. Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig are the 12 Chinese zodiac animals. Each year is named after a different animal. The year 2022 is the Tiger’s year.
- It Is A Day For Praying To The Gods
The Spring Festival began as a religious celebration in which people prayed to the gods for a prosperous planting and harvest season. Harvest was everything in an agrarian civilization. People also prayed to their forefathers and mothers, who were revered as gods.
Families also burn fake paper money and printed gold bars in honor of their deceased loved ones on the same night. It is believed that the offerings will bring fortune and good luck to their ancestors in the afterlife, similar to the Korean Chuseok celebration or the Mexican Day of the Dead traditions.
- The Festival Causes The Largest Human Migration In The World
The family reunion is the most significant aspect of Chinese New Year. For New Year’s Eve dinner, everyone should return home.
However, most elderly parents in modern China reside in rural villages while their offspring work in cities. Spring Migration, also known as chunyun (春运), is the process of returning home and going on vacation. It results in a frenzied rush for tickets, with many actually fighting for them.
- The Festival Is Celebrated With Red Colors
The lunar New Year is the most important start to the New Year for the Chinese people. A successful start also signifies a prosperous new year. In Chinese tradition, red is the luckiest hue. It is a symbol of wealth and prosperity.
As a result, the Chinese New Year is marked by the use of the color red. People dress in red, hang red lanterns, paste red decorations, and gift red envelopes in the hopes of a prosperous new year.
- Food Also Brings The Luck
It is thought that eating lucky meals during the Chinese New Year will bring good fortune in the coming year. You’ll have a miserable year if you don’t. Fish, poultry, and other dishes with auspicious connotations in Chinese culture are considered lucky. Eating fish means that you will consume more than you require the following year.
Fish, Chinese dumplings, spring rolls, and sweet rice balls are among the most popular Chinese New Year foods. They’re all auspicious symbols that are supposed to bring good fortune.
They also enjoy a wide variety of CNY goodies. If you’re still doing some last minute shopping for your goodies, check out Pineapple Tarts Singapore.
- In Addition – Wearing Red Underwear Is A Tradition
In Chinese tradition, red is thought to be the fortunate hue. It is believed that wearing red underwear will ward off evil spirits and bring good luck. In China, crimson underwear is worn in the hope of a peaceful new year. When the Chinese New Year arrives, red underwear is widely available in stores and supermarkets.
- Hired Boyfriends/Girlfriends To Bring Home To Meet The Family
Although not widely used, it is still an interesting fact to know for those with nosy parents/grandparents who without fail question your marriage status with each returning year.
Especially since one of the most significant aspects of Chinese culture is having children and passing along the family name.
Some desperate individuals hire a fictitious lover or girlfriend to accompany them home. Those who are unable (or unwilling) to return home can hire themselves out. However, some of the other questions, such as your pay, occupation, or when you want to have a family, are unavoidable. This tip might be useful to keep them quiet for a while so you can enjoy your CNY goodies in peace.
We hope everyone has a prosperous celebration ahead, stay safe and Happy New Year!