8 Cultural Facts to Understand About Chinese New Year
The most significant holiday in China and other countries in Asia is the Chinese New Year. Chinese people all over the world celebrate it. Therefore, here are eight of the cultural facts about the Chinese New Year that you should understand.
1. It Does Not Have A Specific Date
Every year, the Chinese New Year happens to be on a different date. However, the start of the Year always lies between January twenty-first and the February twentieth. The Chinese lunar calendar usually determines the date. This year, the New Year was on the 5th of February.
2. Called Spring Festival
Even though the Chinese New Year happens during winter, the Chinese call it the Spring Festival. This is because, in the traditional lunar calendar, February 4th to 18th is known as the start of spring. It is also the first among terms in the calendar.
3. Each New Year Has A New Animal’s Zodiac
The Chinese zodiac animals are twelve in number. Each person has a zodiac animal that is determined by the year that they were born. The animals in the zodiac are the rat, tiger, dragon, horse, monkey, dog, ox, rabbit, snake, goat, rooster, and pig. The pig represents the year 2019.
4. The Festival is a 16 Day Celebration
According to tradition, each of the sixteen days of the Chinese New Year celebration usually has a dedicated particular celebration activity. The Lantern Festival marks the final day of the celebration. It happens on the 15th day of the first lunar month. In the evening during the first lunar moon, families have dinner together, and later they go out to enjoy the fireworks. They then light Lanterns and let them loose to float in the rivers and to fly in the sky.
5. Many Red Envelopes are Exchanged
Red is a favorite color among the Chinese people and the Chinese New Year is filled with red decorations. Older people give red envelopes to the younger generation as a cultural practice believed to send luck, good wishes, and money. Bosses also provide envelopes for employees as a special bonus during the New Year.
6. One-quarter of the World’s Population Celebrates Chinese New Year
7.7 billion people in the world celebrated the 2019 Chinese New Year while two billion others celebrated it as a form of national acknowledgement. China, Macau, Hong Kong and other nine Asian countries consider the Chinese New Year to be a public holiday. With the addition of populations from other countries in the world, a significant amount of people celebrate the Festival.
7. The Chinese New Year Causes the World’s Largest Annual Migration
The reunion dinner with family members is the most vital part of the New Year’s Eve. As a result, many people travel long distances for this holiday so that they can be with their families. The migration to China and other countries has been called the Spring Festival Travel Rush because of its magnitude.
8. Many Superstitions Accompany the Festival
Many things are forbidden during this festival. For instance, sweeping, washing and taking out the garbage is not allowed. These acts are related to washing away fortune at the start of the year and removing good luck from home.
From hiring boyfriends and girlfriends to take home and lighting the world’s largest annual fireworks, the Chinese New Year is the longest holiday celebrated in China.