Chinese New Year ? History, Dates & Celebrations and Traditions

0
437
Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is the most important traditional holiday in China. We celebrate it on the first day of the Chinese lunar calendar, which usually falls between late January and mid-February. The festival lasts for 15 days and people do many things like family gatherings, and a range of customs and traditions. In this article we are going to talk about its history and its customs.

History of Chinese New Year

You can trace the origins of Chinese New Year back to ancient Chinese mythology. According to legend, a monster named Nian came out of hiding on the first day of the lunar New Year. He terrorizes the people, eating their crops, livestock, and even their children. 

However, people found that the monster was afraid of loud noises and the color red. So the people would scare the monster away by setting off firecrackers. Also, they decorate their homes with red lanterns and banners. This practice eventually evolved into the annual celebration of Chinese New Year.

Custom and Traditions Done By People

The celebration of Chinese New Year involves a wide range of customs and traditions. Here are some of the most important ones:

Cleaning and Decorating 

Cleaning and Decorating 

Before Chinese New Year, families will clean their homes thoroughly to sweep away bad luck from the past year. Also, they make way for good fortune in the New Year. They will also decorate their homes with red lanterns, banners, and posters with sayings to create a festive atmosphere.

Reunion Dinner 

Reunion Dinner

On the eve of Chinese New Year, families will gather for a special dinner called the reunion dinner. This is a time for family members to catch up, bond and enjoy a feast of traditional Chinese dishes. Some of the food include dumplings, fish, and rice cake.

Red Envelopes 

Red Envelopes 

Adults will give red envelopes with money to children during New Year as a symbol of good luck and prosperity. The amount of money inside the envelope is usually an even number. People see this luck in Chinese culture.

Lion and Dragon Dances 

During Chinese New Year, people perform lion and dragon dances in the streets to ward off evil spirits. Also, they do this to bring good luck. The lion and dragon are symbols of strength, courage, and good fortune.

Fireworks and Firecrackers 

Fireworks and Firecrackers

Fireworks and firecrackers are set off throughout the festival to drive away evil spirits and bring good luck. The loud noises and bright colors of the fireworks are to scare away evil spirits. This is also done to bring good fortune to those who watch the display.

Temple Fairs 

Temple Fairs

During Chinese New Year, temple fairs are held throughout China. These fairs feature traditional performances, games, and food stalls. People can buy traditional crafts, watch lion and dragon dances, and try traditional snacks.

New Year’s Day 

On the first day of Chinese New Year, people will wear new clothes and greet each other with auspicious phrases. They will also visit family and friends to exchange gifts and wish each other good luck for the coming year. People also visit temples and pay respect to their ancestors on this day.

New Year's Day

These customs and traditions are deeply rooted in Chinese culture and have been passed down for generations. They serve to bring families together, celebrate the New Year, and bring good luck and prosperity for the coming year.

How Other Culture Celebrate Chinese New Year

People not only celebrate Chinese New Year in China but also in many other countries around the world. This can be found where there are Chinese communities. In these places, the people celebrate in a similar way as in China. However, you can find some differences which reflect the local culture. Here are some examples of how other cultures celebrate Chinese New Year:

Malaysia and Singapore 

In these countries, Chinese New Year is a public holiday, and the celebrations are similar to those in China. However, there is also a strong influence from Malay and Indian cultures. This adds some unique elements to the festivities. For example, in Malaysia, it is common to have lion dances and dragon dances performed by dancers of different ethnicities.

Vietnam 

Vietnam

In Vietnam, Chinese New Year is called Tet, and it is also a major holiday. The celebrations last for seven days and include many of the same customs as in China. This includes cleaning the house, giving gifts, and eating traditional foods. However, there are also some unique Vietnamese traditions, such as the custom of offering food to the ancestors.

Indonesia 

Indonesia

People of Indonesia know Chinese New Year as Imlek. Also, people celebrate it by Chinese Indonesians as well as by people from other ethnic groups. The celebrations often include fireworks, lion dances, and the exchange of red envelopes. However, there are also some Indonesian customs that people include into the festivities. Some of them include the tradition of making ketupat (a type of rice cake) for the New Year.

United States 

In the United States, Chinese Americans celebrate Chinese New Year. Other people who are found of the culture celebrate this festival also. The celebrations often include parades with lion and dragon dances, fireworks, and traditional Chinese music and dance performances. In some cities, like San Francisco and New York, this parade is a major event that attracts thousands of spectators.

United States 

These are just a few examples of how other cultures celebrate Chinese New Year. While the customs and traditions may vary from place to place. The holiday is always a time to come together with family and friends. It is also to honour ancestors, and look forward to a new year filled with hope and good fortune.

Chinese New Year of 2022 Animal 

For over 2,000 years, the Chinese Zodiac has been a significant part of Chinese culture. It determines the animal that represents a particular year in a 12-year cycle. 

Chinese New Year of 2022 Animal 

Each animal has distinct traits that are traditionally believed to predict a person’s fortune and personality. According to Nat Geo, the animal is said to represent the personality of individuals born in that year.

The Tiger, for instance, is associated with traits such as power, rebellion, adventure, and unpredictability. Those born in the Year of the Tiger (1998, 2010, etc.) are typically characterized by their strong sense of ethics. Also, their commitment to pursuing their passions.

In the Chinese zodiac, the Tiger holds the third position among the twelve zodiac animals. These are the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. These animals follow a 12-year cycle, and each year is linked with a specific animal sign.

If you have your birthday in 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, or 2022. You are born under the Tiger zodiac sign and are known as a Tiger in China.

However, the Chinese New Year 2022, which falls between late January and mid-February, usually marks the start of the zodiac year. If your birth date falls within this period in any of the aforementioned years. There is a possibility that you might be an Ox instead of a Tiger.

Additionally, those born in January or February in the years immediately following the Tiger years. This includes 1978, 1987, 1999, 2011, may be a Tiger or a Rabbit based on the Chinese zodiac.

Conclusion

Overall, Chinese New Year is a time for joy, unity, and hope for the coming year. It is a great opportunity for you to connect with their families. Also you need to embrace the cultural traditions, and welcome the New Year with open arms. To learn more about the culture, tradition and history, read this article.

Read Also: Happy New Year 2023 ?? We Celebrate It Every Year With Pomp And Splendor