Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival in modern China, and one of the Lunar New Years in Asia, is an important Chinese festival celebrated at the turn of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar.
Celebrations traditionally run from the evening preceding the first day, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first calendar month. The first day of the New Year falls on the new moon between the 21st of January and 20th of February In 2018.The first day of the Lunar New Year was on Friday, 16 February, initiating the year of the Dog.
Every year monster Nián terrorized villages. It would eat everything, from mosquitos to human beings. As time went on, the villagers realized that the monster came every 365 days. The villagers decided that on that day, they would prepare a feast and dine before the ancestors for protection. After years of hiding like this, a youth came up with the idea to use firecrackers and scare the monster away once and for all.
Such goes the legend of the origin of Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival. Because the purpose was to scare off Nian and prevent it from returning, the holiday decorations are typically a bright and loud red. A part of the celebration is decorating houses with traditional symbols for the Chinese New Year. These traditional symbols items are lanterns, take-out boxes, festive table settings, oranges, and tangerines and incorporating color gold, red, blue and white style chinoiserie in the decorations, as they are the main traditional Chinese color Decoration.
Family is the basis of the Chinese society, which is seen through the significance placed on the New Year’s Eve dinner. All family members must come back. Even if they truly can’t, the rest of the family will leave their spot empty and place a spare set of utensils for them.
Food is one of the things that the Chinese take the most pride in. And of course, lot of care and thought is put into the menu for the most important holiday of the year. Certain dishes are eaten during the Chinese New Year for their symbolic meaning. Lucky food is served during the 16-day festival season, especially New Year’s Eve, which is believed to bring good luck for the coming year. Not only do the dishes themselves matter, but also the preparation, and ways of serving and eating mean a lot. The most common Chinese New Year foods are dumplings, fish, spring rolls, and niangao.
Red symbolizes luck and good fortune in Chinese culture. That is why red envelopes are used during Chinese New Year and other celebratory events.
During Chinese New Year, money is put in red envelopes which are then handed out to younger generations by their parents, grandparents, relatives, and even close neighbors and friends. At some companies, workers may also receive a year-end cash bonus tucked inside a red envelope. A red envelope is a long, narrow, red envelope. Traditional red envelopes are often decorated with gold Chinese characters like happiness and wealth.
The Chinese calendar assign different animals from the zodiac to each lunar year in a cycle of 12 years. This year is the Year of the Dog, while last year it was the Rooster. Guo Nian Hao is one of the most used Chinese New Year greetings.
Lots of luck for this year of the dog!