This coming Sunday is the start of the Chinese New Year. It is a celebration of the beginning of a new year in the Chinese lunisolar calendar. Although some may think otherwise, the Chinese don’t celebrate the 1st of January as “New Year’s Day” like the rest of the world. Their New Year is a larger celebration that can last up to 15 days, with lots of deep meanings and interesting activities that coincide with the festival. The following blog will look into the Chinese New Year and some interesting facts you may not know about it.
What is Chinese New Year:
The Chinese New Year is a festival and celebration of the start of a new year on the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar. Traditionally, this event was used to worship the gods and ancestors but it is now a time to feast and visit family members. An animal is usually associated with the new year, and anyone born after the beginning of the year is said to have the characteristics of that animal. 2023 will be the year of the rabbit.
The date on which the event starts differs each year as it is based around the lunar cycle. When there is a “new moon” or when the moon is shaped like a crescent, is said to be when the new year starts. Once the 15 days have passed, they have a lantern festival. People decorate the streets with colourful lanterns, eat sweet rice balls called tangyuan, watch dances, and set-off fireworks. This event will mark the end of the festivities, and the population will go back to their normal lives.
Five interesting facts you may not know about Chinese New Year:
- Children will receive red envelopes with money inside. However, the contents cannot total 4 or be divisible by 4, as that is said to sound like death in Chinese.
- Before the festivities begin, many people will clean their homes, which is supposed to get rid of any bad luck in time for the new year.
- The date of the Chinese New Year is never set in stone. But it will always fall between January 21st and February 20th.
- Certain foods are only eaten during the new year. For example, a dumpling is consumed because it is said to represent wealth. The more you eat, the wealthier you will be.
- During the Lion and Dragon dances, loud drums will be played to scare off all the bad spirits and luck.
The EWFM team would like to wish all that celebrate a happy
and healthy Chinese New Year!
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