Chinese New Year is one of the most celebrated days in the world. When the farm field shines like gold, farmers come together to give thanks to the harvest and praise their pray to god for mass harvests to come. This is when we all say “新年快乐”, Xin Nian kuai le, Happy new year!
WHEN DID THE CHINESE NEW YEAR BEGIN?
Unlike the current new year on January 1 using the Gregorian calendar, the Chinese new year, also known as the spring festival, follows the lunar calendar. The day marks the beginning of the new lunar year, a time for the moon to travel around the earth. The new year usually falls between January 21 and February 20.
CELEBRATING CHINESE NEW YEAR
1. House cleaning.
Traditionally, this is the time when people start having mass cleaning in the house to sweep away bad luck and make their home ready to receive good luck by decorating houses with red colors. Red color can be seen everywhere during the festival as it denotes bringing prosperity and energy to protect against evil spirits and negativity.
One of the most exciting parts of Chinese New year is the family reunion and the gifts that came along. Families from different generations also reunited at this festival to eat dinner and exchange gift money in red envelopes for children and single people.
4. Temple Visit
Although CNY is not a religious event, people visit the temples to offer the gods and wish for a prosperous new year. People would pray to different gods such as the god of the kitchen, which protects the family at home, Jade Emperor, the most important god in heaven, and door gods, the two fierce warriors who frighten away the evil spirits.
3. Dragon Dance and firecrackers
In ancient China, it was said that the dragon protects the community from monsters that attack the town and animals at the end of the year. Moreover, they also discovered that the monsters are scared of loud noises, bright light, and red. That was why dragon dances are held with loud drums and firecrackers across the nation.
WHAT NOT TO DO DURING THE CHINESE NEW YEAR?
As the Chinese new year is celebrated, people believe that our activities will affect our luck in the coming years. These are some of the activities that should be prohibited during the festival.
1. Avoid sweeping the floor and taking out the garbage.
Sweeping dirt and dust during the festival is associated with sweeping the wealth away, and taking out garbage symbolizes taking way good fortune from the house.
2. Don’t eat porridge and meat for breakfast
People avoid eating porridge for breakfast during the festival as it is believed that only those unfortunates eat porridge for breakfast, and people do not want to start their year poor, as it is a bad omen. Besides that, people avoid eating meat during breakfast as it disrespects the philosophy of the Buddha, who is against killing animals.
3. Avoid washing hairs and cutting
Washing and cutting hair is not allowed during the Chinese new year. People believe that doing something with hair will wipe the fortunes away. Also, cutting hair during the festival will bring fortunes to uncles in the family instead of ourselves.
So, how are you celebrating the Chinese new year? Whatever the traditions or parades, the most important thing is to come in harmony, thankfulness of the past year, the people who have always cared, and new opportunities. Make this time a wonderful time with your family and for yourself! Have a happy new year!