5 Things To Know About The Chinese New Year

This is the Year of the Rabbit, which is associated with peace and prosperity. Know more about the unique customs that make the occasion special
Chinese New Year celebrations in Kolkata's Chinatown
Chinese New Year celebrations in Kolkata's Chinatown

The first day of the Chinese lunar calendar, which begins the day after the first new moon rises between January 21 and February 20, is when Chinese New Year is celebrated. This year, &nbspthe Chinese New Year falls on January 22, 2023. The celebrations will last for around two weeks. Here are five things to know about the Chinese New Year.

The Zodiac Sign

According to the Chinese zodiac, this is the Year Of The Rabbit.&nbspFourth of the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals, the rabbit denotes a gentle nature. The qualities attributed to it are elegance, kindness, and patience. And the lucky colours attributed to the year are pink, red, purple, blue. Recent rabbit years were 2011, 1999, and 1987.

The Legend Behind The Animals

There are 12 Chinese zodiacs, one for the each year. Legends speak of a Jade emperor who wanted to select 12 animals to be his guard sending a man to spread the message. Each had to pass through a heavenly gate to get a rank. The rat and ox finished first and second after the rat had climbed onto the latter. Just as the ox neared the gate, the rat jumped out and finished first. Following them came the tiger and the rabbit after which the dragon and snake crossed the gate. the horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig finished in the same respective order. The year of a person's birth correlates with zodiac cycle which repeats every 12 years. Personality traits, love compatibility are associated by the zodiac sign.  

The Celebrations

This Lunar New Year is observed through a range of activities, such as dragon or lion dances, royal performances (like an emperor's wedding), or the donning of traditional attire. Red clothing, red decorations, and gifts wrapped in red packaging are common during this period. Children are gifted red envelopes containing money to bring them good fortune.

The Customs and Rituals

Good news for you lazy bums Showering and sweeping is ill-advised against on the New Year's day to make sure that you wash away good luck. However, there is an entire day dedicated to cleanliness before the beginning of the festival. Setting off firecrackers is one of Chinese New Year's long lasting traditions. The occasion traces its history to a popular legend about a monster named Nian. It is widely believed that Nian would come out every New Year's eve and terrorize villages forcing the locals to hide inside. That is until one brave boy fought him off by using firecrackers. Firecrackers are set off at midnight on CNY's eve and in the morning to welcome the new year and good luck. 

Positive Vibes Only

No crying, no borrowing, no fighting. The Chinese believe that whatever you do during these two weeks sets the tone for the rest of the year. Unless you want to spend the coming 12 months doing the above, smiling and kindness are your go to things if you want a prosperous year ahead. 

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