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Facts, myths, and traditions in Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in China and more than 20 percent of the world’s population celebrate this holiday.

However, some of the people may not know these things about the event.

Spring Festival

The New Year of Chinese is also called the Spring Festival. During the celebration, the end of the coldest days is also coming. Lunar New Year is also another term for this event.

chinese new year

No exact date

Unlike other holidays, the celebration of Chinese for their new year has no exact date. It ranges from January 21 to February 20. This 2019, it falls on February 5.

Fireworks, prayers to ancestors, fighting monsters

For the Chinese, it is the time to pray to their ancestors while according to myth it is the time when a boy fought a monster which only goes out every new year’s eve. Based on the story, the boy triumph against the monster through firecrackers and to celebrate this, people set off more firecrackers.

chinese new year

Longest Chinese holiday

Technically, this holiday lasts for 15 days but the celebration starts on new year’s eve or on the 16th day. Based on the Chinese tradition, one has to stay with their family and can only go out after the 5th day. Most of the stores are close so people buy their goods a month before.

Largest human migration

Chinese who are living in the city come back home to their parents in rural areas for the traditional Chinese New Year’s eve dinner. Train tickets are already available 60 days prior of the holiday.

chinese new year

Hiring of fake girlfriend/boyfriend

As part of Chinese culture, having children and passing down the family name is very vital. This is the reason why some Chinese hire fake boyfriend and girlfriend to take them home.

Things prohibited to do

During the New Year’s day, taking a shower, sweeping and throwing the garbage are not allowed. They believe that these will wash away good luck. Some of the things that are not allowed to do are breaking ceramics or glass; using scissors, knives or any sharp objects; arguing and swearing; saying unlucky things and hair cutting.

Meaning of Chinese desserts

Every Chinese dessert has a meaning. Examples of this are: Nian gao (a type of rice cake) is for success, Fa gao (hybrid of sponge cakes and muffins) is for prosperity.

chinese new year

Wine

Wine should always be present in every Chinese occasion. For them, there’s no manners and/or etiquette without wine.

The color red

Chinese tradition dictates that decorations for new year should have the color red to drive away the mythical monster called Nian. Children also receive gifts from red envelopes.

Zodiac animal and bad luck

Every year has a designated zodiac animal and people born on the zodiac year are considered bad luck.

chinese new year

1 year older

During the Spring Festival, Chinese people add 1 year to their nominal age.

Greetings

The Chinese New Year greeting is “xin nian kuai le”. Literally it means “happy new year”. Hong Kong and other Cantonese-speaking regions use
“gong hei fat choy” while in Mandarin Chinese, it’s “gong xi fa cai” which means “congratulations on the fortune.”

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