15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About The Chinese New Year9 min read
The Lunar New Year, more commonly known as the Chinese New Year, has officially started.
This year, the Chinese New Year officially begins on the 12th of February. The lantern festival, which caps off the celebrations, will occur on February 26.
The Chinese New Year is considered the most important holiday in China and is a big day for all people of Chinese descent all over the world. Surely there is a lot more to it than just tikoy, ang pao, and dragon dances.
From taboos to traditions and a lot more facts about it, here are 15 things you probably didn’t know about the Chinese New Year.
1. There’s no exact date set for Chinese New Year
It is believed that the Lunar New Year should begin on the first month of the Lunar Calendar and
Chinese people believe stocking up on their supplies before the festivity begins will prepare them for the first sign of the celebration which is the “Laba Festival.” This is where they prepare and serve cured meat, salted
The Laba porridge includes seven different types of grains like husked rice, red beans, and red dates.
2. It is called as the “Spring Festival” in China
“Chunjie,” or the Spring Festival, is what the Chinese New Year is called in China.
Although the start of the holiday marks the end of the winter season in the country, the remaining days are still the coldest days. Just as what it is called, the “Spring” festival brings with it planting and harvesting, new beginnings and fresh starts.
It is called by some as Lunar New Year simply because it goes according to the lunar calendar and other countries such as Vietnam and South Korea celebrate is as well.
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3. The New Year means a new zodiac animal
As in the Western horoscope, which has 12-star signs, one for each month, there are also 12 signs in the Chinese zodiac. However, in the Chinese zodiac, there is only one sign per year.
Every year is represented by
It is believed that your zodiac, depending on the animal year, will grant you positive traits for the rest
This 2021 is the Year of the Metal Ox.
4. Your zodiac year is your most unlucky year
Your zodiac year, or your “
There are different
5. They decorate everything in red
If it is an “unlucky year” for you, the way to ward off the bad spirits is to wear red.
Even if it is not a
They also wear red clothing: red pants and red shirts or even red underwear; anything red as a sign of protection as well as fortune. New red clothes are considered auspicious and Chinese people often take this time to add to their wardrobe.
6. It is considered the longest Chinese holiday
The Spring Festival is 15
In China, it is expected that
Also, as a tradition, you
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7. Chinese people age a year older during the festival
In China, you have two different ages: a “real” age called “shi
Although this is not
8. There are a lot of taboos practiced during this time
Every country has its
During their Spring Festival, two taboos are:
- Showering during New Year’s Day
- Sweeping and throwing garbage before the fifth
This is done to ensure that you don’t wash away the good luck for the coming year.
In contrast to that,
9. Dumplings, spring rolls or egg rolls and “tangyuan” are a thing
During the old times, the Chinese would eat dumplings for every meal during every day of the festival. Not many people do it these days due to health reasons. However, one must surely eat dumplings for breakfast on on the first day of the new year.
In addition, they serve desserts with special meanings, such as “Nian Gao” or rice cake, which symbolizes success each new year. They also have their “Fa Gao,” or a hybrid of a sponge cake and a muffin, which they dye in festive colors. “Fa” is taken from “Fa Cai” which means “to get rich.”
10. Chinese people drink wine specifically made for the celebration
Chinese people love drinking
When drinking during New Year’s dinner, one must also adhere to toasting depending on your seating, as well as how you should hold the glass.
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11. It is a day intended for praying and fighting off bad spirits
Originally, the Spring
They also believe in a myth about the monster “Nian,” who comes out every New Year’s Eve making people hide in their homes until one brave boy fought him with the use of firecrackers vanishing the evil “Nian” forever. Since then, it is a tradition to set off fireworks during Spring Festival.
12. Single people hire fake boyfriends and girlfriends for show
If you ever experience those
Passing down the family name
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13. Children receive lucky red envelopes
In other cultures, especially
In the modern world, due to
14. The celebration ends with the Lantern Festival
The Lantern Festival, or the “Yuanxiao Festival,” is the first full moon in the lunar year of the
During the old times, the Chinese didn’t allow women to roam around by themselves except on
15. Spring Festival is celebrated in all parts of the world
Chinese and people of
From lantern statues to lion dances, parades, fireworks, and of course the sumptuous food, the Chinese New