Chinese New Year, as the biggest event for Chinese people, has influenced lots of people in the world. More and more people in the other parts of the world celebrate this festival in the recent years. We guess you have a bunch of questions when mention Chinese Lunar New Year. Therefore, we’d like to share the following 11 interesting questions about Chinese New Year with you.
Some people think that Spring Festival and Chinese New Year are totally different events in China. Actually, Chinese New Year is also called Chinese Lunar New Year, as it follows the lunar calendar in China. Chinese people name Lunar New Year as the Spring Festival, “chunjie” in Chinese, which is because it is the “beginning of spring” in lunar calendar.
Chinese New Year has been the most important celebration for Chinese people since ancient times. It is not only a tradition, but also an important time for families to get reunited. During the new year, all the family members could gather together to share happiness, and do some lucky things to get good fortune for the new year.
Many Chinese work and study in other cities which are far away from their hometowns, and for some people, Chinese New Year is the only time they can travel from the place they stay all the way back home and enjoy the time with the families.
Many people are curious about this question. Why do Chinese people celebrate Lunar New Year on different date? The most important reason is the lunar calendar Chinese people use is quite different from the Gregorian calendar, so the date for Chinese New Year keeps changing every year.
Traditional lunar calendar in China is associated with the moon, while a solar calendar follows the sun. For lunar calendar, the first day of each month is a new moon, so Chinese New Year always starts from Jan 1st to 15th (the full moon), which is also called Lantern Festival.
Normally it will last for about 15 days, from New Year’s Eve to Lantern Festival. However, Chinese people will start all the preparation ahead of time, for shopping, decorating, cleaning and traveling back home. Even though Chinese people spend nearly 2 months on Lunar New Year, the official public holiday is only about 7 days.
Chinese New Year is Celebrated all over China
Generally speaking, people in different regions of China will celebrate Chinese New Year in various ways. But most people will follow traditions below.
In some places, there will be parades with dragon dances and lion dances. Temple fairs are also great events for Chinese New Year.
It is believed that eating lucky foods for Chinese New Year will bring good fortune to your house. Due to the extreme diversity of local culture and customs, Chinese New Year foods vary from region to region. For example, people in northern China prefer dumplings, while people in southern China like Niangao.
People Put Coins into Dumplings for Good Luck
Here are some lucky Chinese New Year foods that plenty of Chinese love to eat, all of them have good meanings.
Dumplings —— felicitous wish of making money
Fish —— good luck and prosperity
Oranges, kumquats and tangerines —— wealth and good fortune
Spring Rolls —— wealth and prosperity
Tangyuan —— family reunion and happiness
Niangao(Sticky Rice Cake) —— good expectation for the next year
Speaking of representative color for China, most people may have the same answer in mind —— red. Why red is the color of Chinese New Year? Actually, Chinese people think red is a lucky color, they use red for most of biggest events, including wedding, Chinese New Year and some other activities.
Red symbolizes happiness, passion, success and good fortune. Chinese people like to use red color as the main color for Chinese New Year decoration, meanwhile, it’s auspicious to dress in red during Chinese New Year. By this way, bad luck will be scared away, and good luck will come to you.
Red is Main Color for Decorations
Red envelopes (Hongbao in Chinese) are always filled with lucky money, for the best wishes in the new year. Traditionally the elders will give red envelopes to children on New Year’s Eve, meanwhile, adults will give children envelopes when they pay New Year’s calls to friends and relatives.
In Chinese culture, giving red envelopes is a lucky thing for both the givers and receivers, which will bring them good luck and scare away bad spirits.
Red Envelopes with the Best Wishes
The custom of setting off firecrackers for Chinese New Year is ingrained with tradition. From the ancient legend of Chinese New Year, people set off firecrackers to scare away the monster “Nian”. People believed that both the red color and the noise could ward off evil spirits and bring good fortune.
Nowadays, displays of fireworks and firecrackers are still important for most big events, Chinese Lunar New Year is no exception. Setting fireworks and firecrackers has the functions of getting good luck and highlighting the atmosphere.
Booking everything as early as you can is the core. First of all, it’s necessary to book your flight and accommodation ahead of time. And it’s better to avoid taking trains from city to city when you’re in China, because most Chinese will take trains to go back home.
Train Stations will be Flooded with Chinese People
Then, try to pick less popular places to avoid the crowds, and remember to have a flexible plan for several itineraries. It will be crowded in big cities like Beijing and Shanghai, you can choose some attractions that are off the tourist trail.
Be patient when traveling, take it easy. As all the regions in China celebrate Lunar New Year, it’s not easy to find a place with few people around.
Check the price and book your flights. Decide cities and attractions you want to visit, then plan your travel length. Book hotels and tickets for transportation in China. Pack your things and get ready for the trip.
Please feel free to share your ideas of other interesting questions about Chinese New Year, we’re pleased to discuss more Chinese New Year facts with you.
Wish You a Lucky New Year