This year, the Chinese New Year, or “Chunjie”, is on January 22nd. For the inhabitants of the Celestial Empire and many countries of East Asia, this is one of the most ancient and main holidays, which lasts 15 days.
Symbol of the New Year
All festivities will run through February 9th. Every year, the dates of the celebration change, since the second new moon after the winter solstice is considered the beginning of the holiday. The symbol of each year is a combination that repeats every 60 years, from one of the 12 zodiacal animals of a specific color, which corresponds to one of the five elements – earth, water, fire, wood, metal. Chinese New Year 2023 will be symbolized by the Rabbit and Water, and the main colors of the year will be black and blue.
Traditions and signs
Chinese New Year is accompanied by certain signs and rules. It is believed, for example, that if you sleep on New Year’s Eve, you can miss your happiness. The coming year can become sad if you cry or get upset during the celebration, while a cheerful New Year’s Eve promises happiness and good luck for the whole year. However, luck, they say, can be accidentally “washed away” – if you do cleaning and other household chores during the first few days of the year. It is also not recommended to use scissors, take medicine, break something, eat porridge and pears, lend money and get a loan.
History and Traditions of Chinese New Year
According to ancient legend, the mythical monster Nian came to the cities every year to take food supplies and attack people, preferring small children. Therefore, the Chinese went to the mountains and left food for Nian. But one day it became known that the monster is afraid of noise and cannot stand red. Since then, a tradition has emerged, says ren.tv, celebrate the New Year with noisy festivities, fireworks, bright outfits with a predominance of red. On the eve of the holiday, the Chinese do a general cleaning in the house and hang notes on the door with wishes written on red paper. Houses are decorated on the outside with beautiful patterns made of red paper and, of course, red (!) Lanterns are hung.
New Year’s tree in China
As such, in our understanding, there is no New Year tree in China. But there is an analogue – a tangerine tree. In the south of the country, it is displayed in front of houses, and orange fruits symbolize happiness. Even these two words, happiness and tangerine, are pronounced the same way: “kat”.
New Year gifts
With gifts for the New Year, the Chinese especially “do not bother” – it is quite possible to give a couple of tangerines and receive the same present in return. But there is an important nuance: it is customary to give only paired items, symbolizing family harmony, but the number 4 is forbidden – it is associated with death. Children receive colorful postcards for the New Year from their parents and a certain amount in red envelopes.
According to a tradition that exists not only in the Celestial Empire, the whole family gathers at the festive table for the New Year. On the table are fish and meat dishes, and dumplings (jiaozi) are a must. According to legend, they personify the wish for the birth of sons.
Festive performances and dances
The New Year celebrations are long and every day is filled with dances and performances. The most popular is the lion dance, when the performers try to reproduce the movements of the beast while being inside its figure.
The Chinese lion is dancing. Lunar New Year. VDNH.
One of the favorites is also the dragon dance – a team of artists holds a paper dragon on poles and moves in such a way that the snake-like body makes movements in the form of a wave. But such a colorful miracle was staged today on the Yulong River in Yangshuo – a parade of golden dragons: