Unlike the English New Year that follows the English calender, Chinese New Year follows the Lunar Calender. This year Chinese New Year falls on 16th February. People from China celebrate the Chinese New Year for almost two weeks wherever they are. The dates of the Chinese calender do not coincide with the English calender so it falls on a different date every year. Normally it falls on between 21st Jan and 20th February every year.
Chinese New Year Celebrations
Chinese New year is celebrated differently in North and South China. For example, in the Northern part of China, people make Chinese Dumplings on the New Years Eve. In the South of Yangtze River, most people make spring rolls and sticky rice cake. For more details, read How CNY is celebrated in North and South China.
On the Lunar Month 12, day 23, people worship the Kitchen God who they believe is the God of kitchen and affairs of home. However, these days the number of people worshipping the Kitchen God has reduced drastically.
From the Lunar Month 12, day 23, (8th February, 2018) people start the cleaning of their homes thoroughly. It symbolises the welcome of the New Year and bidding farewell to the old one.
Decorations during the Chinese New Year
Red is believed to be an auspicious colour and hence, every building is decorated with red this Spring Festival. Red Lanterns are hung on the streets and Red couplets are pasted on the walls of home, offices and most buildings.
Some families will have a performance of the traditional lion dance in front of their house or building to chase away the ill fortune and bring good luck.
Family time at Chinese New Year
Reunion dinner is a tradition at the Chinese New Year’s eve where the families get together. Reunion dinner is considered to be the most important meal of the year. No matter where people are, they come and take part in this important family time. Traditionally kids and elder will receive a red pocket with money kept in it. Red represents good luck and money for prosperity.
Some Chinese families still follow the traditional way to celebrate or welcome the new year. In the evening they will normally take a shower with boiled water with leaves from a tangerine fruit tree as they believe it chases away sickness and bad luck. Some of them would also wear a red undies for good luck.
Many people would have a dragon dance or a lion dance along with the fireworks on the night of the Chinese New Year
Some of them won’t take a bath the next day, on the first day of the year while others will not clean the house or throw away the garbage. They believe it will throw the good luck away. It is also traditional to wear red on the first day of the year.
The year of Dog
2018 is the Year of Dog according to the Chinese Zodiac. This is determined by the Chinese Zodiac which has a12years cycle. If you are born in 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 or 2018, you are born in the year of Dog.
According to the Chinese Zodiac, the following are considered to be lucky for you if you are born in the year of Dog:
- Number: 3, 4 and 9
- Colours: Red, Green and Purple
- Flowers: Rose and Cymbidium Orchids
Edited by: Himesh Saraf