Chinese New Year, also known as CNY or the Spring Festival, is an occasion where families come together to celebrate.
The festival has been celebrated for over 3,000 years, and its popularity continues today in China and in many parts of the world.
This year, the celebration falls on February 1. This means you have a few more days to get ready before the big day. And when we say getting ready, we mean welcoming the year with good luck!
Here, learn everything you need to know about the Chinese New Year. Discover interesting facts and the do’s and don’ts to be lucky in the Year of the Water Tiger!
- The Chinese New Year is also called the Spring Festival
The Chinese New Year is celebrated to welcome the end of winter and mark fresh starts. It’s also known as Spring Festival. This holiday celebrates new beginnings that come with a season change. Also, it has been called Lunar New Year because this marks the start of the Lunar calendar.
- The Chinese locals celebrate it to pray for good luck
The Chinese New Year is a time to reflect on the past year and pray for good fortune in your future. During this time, people go on extended vacations to recharge for the new year. They also take the time to show gratitude to their ancestors, offering them baskets of fruit or money so they bless people with good luck.
- Setting firecrackers also wards off evil spirits
Setting off firecrackers or fireworks is an essential part of the Chinese New Year celebration. This activity is done to drive away evil spirits with loud noises. Warding off evil spirits is believed to get rid of bad luck.
- It’s the longest holiday celebration in China
The celebration typically lasts for 15 days, starting on New Year’s Eve up until the Lantern Festival. However, locals would prepare early before New Year’s Eve. They would be busy weeks prior to the big day doing some cleaning, shopping, and cooking.
- The date of the festival changes every year
The dates for the Chinese New Year vary since it follows the Lunar calendar. However, it always falls on the second new moon before the March equinox or after the December solstice. Hence, it is often celebrated between January 20 to February 20. This year, New Year’s Eve falls on February 1.
- Each Lunar New Year is represented by a zodiac animal
In 2022, the prevailing zodiac sign is the Water Tiger. It is important to note which animal represents the year as it will decide your luck throughout the year. For instance, those born under the Goat and Pig signs will generally enjoy a lucky year.
- And your zodiac year is thought to be a bad luck
The Chinese believe that the year of your Chinese zodiac is your unluckiest year. This means if you’re born under the sign of the Tiger, and it becomes the ruling zodiac of the year, you’ll be generally unlucky. So, those born under the Tiger will need to be more careful in the Year of the Water Tiger. To counter the bad luck, you must wear red clothing throughout the year, especially on Chinese New Year’s Eve.
- Cleaning during the Chinese New Year brings bad luck
If you’re planning to clean on the first day of the Chinese new year, don’t. This will bring bad luck according to the old traditions. Do your cleaning before midnight of the CNY or the next day to bring good luck.
- Eating a big meal during the CNY brings good luck
In Chinese traditions, eating a big meal on the midnight before New Year helps bring daji dali or good luck and good fortune. Big meals mirror abundance that can set the year for prosperity.
- Dumplings are especially auspicious for the New Year
Dumplings are considered a symbol of wealth and abundance in Chinese culture. This is because they resemble gold and ingots. If you wish to be extra prosperous, make sure to include dumplings in your table come CNY.
- Red decorations attract good fortune
Red is thought to represent the color of life in feng shui. That’s why many believe that decorating your home with red ornaments will bring good fortune in your life. They are also believed to ward off evil spirits, bad luck, and misfortune.
- It’s customary to wear red accessories.
Aside from decorations, red accessories also invite the energy of luck into your life. Wearing red clothes, red shoes, and red string bracelets can set the mood for the rest of the year.
- Adults give children red envelopes
A red envelope with money inside to be specific. This is to wish children good luck in the coming Lunar year. But this doesn’t only apply to adults and children. It’s also a tradition between friends, co-workers, and bosses and employees.
- Dragons and lions dance on the street
Of course, they aren’t real dragons and lions. A team of experienced dancers use giant puppets resembling the auspicious creatures, performing on streets. They perform traditional dances to ward off evil and to welcome the year on an auspicious note.
- CNY is celebrated across the globe
CNY isn’t only celebrated by Chinese families. It is also celebrated worldwide, particularly in neighboring Asian countries and the West. So, you’d find non-Chinese families observing the festival to invite good luck and get rid of misfortune.
- You can greet a Happy Chinese New Year in various ways
If you have friends or colleagues that’s celebrating CNY, you can greet them in various ways. You can say “Gong hei fat choy” to greet them, which is Cantonese and the most common way to greet people. You can also greet them in Mandarin with “Gong xi fa cai.” Or if you want the more formal way, say “Xin nian kuai le.”
To recap, Chinese New Year is celebrated to bring good luck and protection.
If you want to see a prosperous year ahead, it's time you celebrate the special occasion this year.And for all our companions celebrating the Spring Festival, Gong xi fa cai!