For the more than 20% of the people around the world who celebrate the Chinese New Year, it is a time to celebrate new beginnings and fresh starts. It is also known in China as the Spring Festival: a time to honor planting and harvests, and is the Lunar New Year according to the traditional Chinese calendar.
When is the Chinese New Year?
Though the first day of the Lunar New Year is set to occur February, 5th 2019 of this year, there is no set annual date as the holiday follows a lunar calendar. This lunar calendar is based on the monthly cycles of the moon and with every month comes a new moon (this takes place approximately every 29.5 days).
What is the meaning behind the Chinese New Year celebration?
While there are many legends and myths surrounding the conception of the Chinese New Year festivities, the most prevalent one retells the story of a monster named Nian who would pillage a village on the first day of every new year. This happened until a brave individual stood up and faced Nian; discovering in the process his fear of the color red and loud noises.
As a result, the Chinese New Year brings about the largest firework display throughout the world. Whats more, the color red is used in all the decorations and attire as a weapon of defense and protection against bad luck.
The Chinese New Year also features 1 of 12 Chinese zodiac animals. While the positive traits of each animal are bestowed on people born during that year, every year that features one’s zodiac animal is actually considered bad luck and an obstacle one must work to overcome. 2019 is the year of the pig. The 12th of the zodiac animals, the pig is known as the symbol of wealth and fortune.
Because reuniting with family is such a major component of the Chinese festival, the Lunar New Year brings about the biggest migration annually across the world. Additionally, this holiday is the longest chinese holiday, lasting 15 whole days. Every year’s celebrations ends with the lantern festival and the first full moon of the lunar year, also known as valentines day and a night of freedom.
However, you don’t have to be in China to celebrate! Cities around the globe have their own parades that you can take part in and enjoy the traditions that have been practiced for thousands of years.