Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is the most important festival in China. It is also a major event in many other parts of East Asia.
Origin of Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year has a history of over 3,000 years and is associated with several myths. One of the popular legends is that of a mythical beast Nian that shows up every Lunar New Year’s Eve to eat people and livestock. To scare away the monster, people displayed red paper, burned bamboo, lit candles, and wore red clothes. Although people have forgotten the story, the traditions have continued to the present time.
Celebrating Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is the festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. It was traditionally a time to honor deities and ancestors, but it has also become a time to feast with family members. Regional customs and traditions vary widely but share the same theme: seeing out the old year and welcoming luck and prosperity into the new year.
Chinese New Year traditions
The main activities during the Chinese New Year celebration include:
- Cleaning and decorating the house with red items, especially red couplets and lanterns
- Offering sacrifices to ancestors
- Having a reunion dinner with family on New Year’s Eve
- Exchanging red envelopes with money and other gifts
- Setting off firecrackers and fireworks
- Watching various lion and dragon dances.
What is considered bad luck during Chinese New Year
- Sweeping the floor on New Year’s Day: You’ll sweep away all your luck
- Eating porridge for breakfast: You’ll become poor in the upcoming year
- Washing your clothes and hair on New Year’s Day: You’ll ‘wash away your fortune
We wish you and your family lots of luck and happiness in the year ahead.