The Chinese New Year or the Spring Festival is a festival that celebrates the start of a new year on the Chinese Calendar. It's also one of the Lunar New Years as well. This year, the Chinese New Year started on February 5th, 2019. And 2019 is the year of the pig. The pig is one of the Chinese zodiac signs and is the twelfth of the 12-year cycle of animals. Here are ten facts about the Chinese New Year that you may or may not know.
1. There is no set date
The Spring Festival is on the first of January and it lasts until the 15th of January when there is a full moon on the Lunar Calendar. On the Gregorian calendar, the date is different each year. It can range from January 21st to February 20th.
2. It is the longest Chinese holiday
The Spring Festival is fifteen days long and is a national holiday. For the first five days, people spend time with their families and can only come out after the fifth day. People will stock up on cooking supplies, snacks, gifts, and more.
3. You can't shower, sweep, or throw garbage out
You can't shower on New Year's Day and you can't sweep or throw out garbage out before the 5th. If you do, you will wash away the good luck.
4. Children get red envelopes with money in them
The money is to help transfer the fortune of the elders down to the children. Bosses also give red envelopes to their employees, co-workers give envelopes to one another, and friends also do it as well.
5. People are supposed to eat dumplings everyday for every meal
Most people will eat dumplings for dinner on New Year's Eve and some will eat them for the first breakfast.
6. Desserts for the Chinese New Year all have special meanings
For example, Fa Gao, which is a sponge cake and muffin and people dye it colors. The fa in Fa Gao means "to get rich." There are many other desserts that have special meanings as well.
7. Everything is decorated red for the New Year
They will hang up red lanterns and strings of either real or fake chili peppers, chili pepper paste, red paper, and much more. People will also wear red clothing as well.
8. There are 12 Chinese Zodiac Signs and every year has a zodiac animal
The 12 Chinese Zodiac signs are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. My Chinese zodiac sign is a rat. If I was born a year later, I would have been an ox, and if I was born a year earlier, I would have been a pig.
2019 is the year of the pig. People born, will get positive traits of the zodiac of that year. In the western world, your animal can decide things like your career and health, but your zodiac year is bad luck for you.
9. In China, you have a 'real' age and a 'fake' nominal age
The real age is the one that you celebrate on your birthday, but the normal age is the one you celebrate during the Spring Festival.
10. The New Year ends with the Lantern Festival
Yuanxiao Festival or Lantern Festival is celebrated on the first full moon of the lunar year. People spend the night partying and letting lanterns go into the night sky.
I learned a lot more about the Chinese New Year and the meaning that goes into it. There were things that I did know, while other things, I did not know.