Chinese New Year is an annual celebration of new beginnings, happiness and joy. It is one of the most important festivals in Chinese culture and is celebrated by millions of people around the world. The traditional new year celebrations typically last for several weeks and are marked by a variety of customs and traditions that are steeped in legend and symbolism. From dragon dances to red envelopes, the customs and traditions of Chinese New Year are truly unique and provide a fascinating glimpse into the culture and history of China.
1. Chinese New Year falls on a different day each year.
Chinese New Year isn’t on the same day every year.
It’s usually in late January or February.
The date is worked out by the ‘New Moon’.
This is when there is a new lunar cycle and is the first phase of the moon when it is a crescent moon like the below picture.
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2. It is also known as ‘Spring Festival’.
The Chinese New Year is also known as ‘Spring Festival’.
This is because it signals the start of Spring!
It celebrates the start of new life.
3. In China, each year is linked with a different animal.
The Chinese calendar goes in a cycle of 12 years.
Each year is symbolised by a different animal.
2022 is the year of the Tiger!
It is believed that if you are born in a particular year then you will have some of the characteristics of that animal.
4. The celebrations last for 15 days.
The Chinese New Year isn’t only celebrated on one day.
Traditionally it is celebrated across 15 days and ends when there is a full moon!
It ends with the Lantern Festival.
However, the first three days are a public holiday in China and is when the main celebrations take place.
5. Guo Nian Hao means Happy New Year!
There are lots of different greetings that can be said during the Chinese New Year.
One of the best ones to say is ‘Guo Nian Hao’.
This means Happy New Year!
6. Children receive red envelopes with money inside.
During Chinese New Year, children receive red envelopes.
The envelopes have money inside of them!
They can spend the money on anything they like as they receive it instead of gifts.
The amount of money can be any amount but never includes the number 4.
It amount shouldn’t be able to divide by four either!
This is because the number four in Chinese sounds a bit like death!Embed from Getty Images
7. Chinese New Year ends with the ‘Lantern Festival’.
The Chinese New Year always ends with the Lantern Festival.
During the Lantern Festival, people will release flying lanterns into the sky.
They will also spend it celebrating with their families.
The Lantern Festival is all about reconciliation, peace, and forgiveness.Embed from Getty Images
8. Before the celebration it is tradition to spring clean the home to get rid of bad luck.
Like many of us, people in China will clean their homes before the Chinese New Year celebrations.
However, this is actually because they believe it will sweep away any bad luck in time for the New Year.Embed from Getty Images
9. Lion and dragon dances are very popular around this time.
Lion and dragon dances are very popular in China, especially during the Chinese New Year.
It is believed that they will bring good fortune to the local area.
During these dances, you will hear lots of loud drums.
The loud noise is said to drive all of the bad luck and spirits away!Embed from Getty Images
10. Fireworks will be set off at midnight!
Just like we do on New Years, during the Chinese New Year everyone will stay up until midnight.
At midnight there will be lots of fireworks!
There is a myth that there is a beast called Nian who doesn’t like loud noises or fire.
The fireworks take place to scare off Nian!
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