Chinese New Year is one of the most important festivals, especially in China. It is also known as Lunar New Year as it is based off the lunar calendar, which means it follows the duration of the moon that goes around the earth. What makes it unique about Chinese New Year is that it lasts for as long as 15 days and there are a lot of traditions related to Chinese New Year that you may have not known yet. Below are 7 things you should know about the Chinese New Year.
1. Also Known as Spring Festival
The Lunar New Year is more known as Chunjie in China, which means the Spring Festival. It is called Spring Festival as it marks the start of the new year in Chinese calendar and it usually starts with spring season that welcomes new beginnings with harvesting season.
2. No Fixed Date
Unlike holidays in the western culture, such as Christmas or other celebrations which uses the Gregorian calendar as a measurement, the Lunar New Year changes date every year. The festival lasts for 15 days and in 2021 it will fall on the 12th of February.
In general, the Lunar New Year falls in the range of mid-January to mid-February.
3. Longest Holiday in China
Although the Chinese New Year lasts for as long as 15 days, people start to prepare from the New Year’s Eve which makes it 16 days in total. On the other hand, in China itself, they make it a whole month as national holidays. Before the festival, families would shop for new clothes, food supplies, snacks, and gifts to prepare at home as stores are closed during the celebration of the festival.
4. Showering, Sweeping, and Throwing Garbage are not allowed
Chinese New Year has unique rules and taboos. It is said that if you break these rules bad luck will come in the new year. Showering is one of the taboos that you should avoid doing on the New Year’s Day, usually people shower during the night of New Year’s Eve. Sweeping is also not allowed as it is believed that it will sweep away all the good luck that is supposed to come in the year. Up until now, these rules are followed by people with strict traditions even outside of China.
5. Children Get Red Envelopes with Money Inside
It is a tradition for adults to give kids red envelopes with money inside which is believed to be lucky money. They believe that by giving money in red packets will give good luck to the kids from the elder. Not only between elders and kids, sometimes bosses would also share some red packets with money in it to their employees as a way to commemorate the Lunar New Year.
6. Red Colour for all Decorations
During this time of the year, families decorate their homes with red decorations. It is believed that long time ago, red colour scares the monster that is attacking a village away. People would also wear red clothing during the celebration. Red lanterns and banners are hung up on the entrance of the house, even at the doors!
7. Zodiac Animal Each Year
A lot of us may be familiar with the 12 zodiacs horoscope that represents each month of the year. In Chinese tradition, there are also 12 Chinese zodiacs which come in animal forms and represents a whole year and change to another after the year ends following the Chinese calendar, and the year 2021 is the year of Ox.