Most Exhaustive Ever: Interesting Things about Chinese New Year: the Spring Festival

Church activity
Church activity (photo: GospelTimes)
By Eliana W. OstineJanuary 26th, 2016

Nowadays Spring Festival goods sales are soaring in China. 2016 Chinese New Year falls on February 8. It is the Year of the Monkey according to Chinese zodiac. It will be a great chance to experience the traditional folk customs!

When is exactly Chinese New Year?

The festival dates change every year as it is defined by the lunar calendar, falling on a day between mid-January and mid-February.

How Long is the Festival?

It starts from the first day of the first month of the lunar calendar and continues for 15 days to the Lantern Festival. The peak time of the entire celebration is on Chinese New Year's Eve and the first day.

Why is red color so popular in Spring Festival?

House decorations for the holiday use red widely in pictures, paper cuttings as well as spring couplets. The fact is that red though considered a warning color in western countries, is the token of fortune, wealth and prosperity in China, which can ward off evil spirits and bring good luck.

What’s the point of Spring Festival?

Spring Festival starts a new zodiac year.

Every year comes with a new zodiac sign. Based on the lunar calendar, an entire cycle of the lunar calendar is completed every 60 years, and 12 years is regarded as a small cycle. Each of the 12 years is defined by a different animal sign: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. To make up the full 60 year cycle, each year is also associated with ‘Yin’ or Yang, and one of ‘Wood’, ‘Fire’, ‘Earth’, ‘Metal’ or ‘Water’.

The whole country is on the move.

No matter where someone is, they will attempt to return home for a family reunion. The world's largest human migration takes place annually in China famously known as Spring Festival Travel Rush. A billion people take planes, trains, buses and cars to reunite with their families.

Lantern Festival marks the end.

The Lantern Festival comes on the 15th day of the first lunar month, with people usually enjoying a lantern fair or watching a Shehuo folk performance on the streets.

Time for Family Reunion

Being one of the traditional festivals, Spring Festival is the time for the whole families to reunite together, which is similar with Christmas Day to the westerners. Reunion dinner is a ritual. The reunion dinner on New Year's Eve is a feast to commemorate the past year. This is the most important time to be with families.

The longest Public Holiday

Spring Festival last for 15 days from the 1st to the 15th day of the first lunar month, from the 23rd day of the twelfth lunar month. Most employees will have a seven-day off, while students take one month absence from school.

Holiday Origins from Monster Nian.

Originating during the Shang Dynasty(17th-11th Century BC), the festival used to be observed to fight against the monster “Nian” who liked to eat children and livestock. The monster was afraid of red color and loud sound. Therefore, most people decorated their houses in read and set off firecrackers to expel it. This festival is a time of largest usage of Firework on this planet. Today, fireworks are an indispensable part of the celebration to liven up the air of Spring Festival, creating the biggest firework show on New Year's Eve.

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