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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Chinese New Year

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year marks the first day in the lunar calendar, which begins the day after the first new moon appears. This year the New Year falls on Friday 12th February, marking the beginning of the Year of the Ox, the second animal of the Chinese Zodiac. The Ox is a valued animal in Chinese culture because of its role in agriculture as well as its positive characteristics. It is said that people born in the year of the Ox are honest, fair, strong and unlikely to be influenced by others.

1. Chinese New Year is known as the Spring Festival

In China, Chinese New Year is also known as chunjie, (春節) or the Spring Festival. Although the celebrations fall in January and February, the holiday is intended to mark the end of the coldest period, celebrating the start of lighter days and new beginnings.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

2. The colour red symbolises happiness

Chinese New Year decorations are typically red, which is a symbol of happiness, wealth and prosperity in Chinese culture. During the festivities, China is filled with red lanterns, red paper cuttings, red lights, red costumes and outfits. Children also receive red envelopes containing ‘lucky money’, traditionally used to help transfer fortune from elders to kids.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

3. The most fireworks in the world are set off during Chinese New Year

The Chinese invented fireworks in the 12th century, they were first used to warn off the mythical monster Nian, scaring off any beasts or monsters. China was the first to use the decorative explosives in a New Year’s celebration, and the tradition has continued for centuries, playing a vital role in the festivities.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

4. Your Zodiac year is bad luck

Similar to Western horoscopes, the Chinese have 12 zodiac signs, however each animal lasts a year. Your ‘benming’ year represents the year of your zodiac animal and typically the unluckiest year for you as it is thought people in their zodiac year offend Tai Sui, the God of Age, incurring his curse.

Photo Credit: CGTN

5. House cleaning is forbidden on the first day of the New Year

In Chinese tradition, cleaning your house on the first day of the New Year is simply not allowed as there is a danger of sweeping or washing away any good luck that arrived at the stroke of midnight. Therefore, Chinese spend much of their time cleaning before the New Year arrives, in order to host multiple guests for the festivities.

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