Chinese New Year
By: Max Cannon
Instead of celebrating our standard New Year on January 1st, many start the festivities during the Chinese New Year! Rather than keeping your celebrating to just the single day, Chinese New Year is celebrated for about 15 days! If you're looking for a little holiday history, than look no further!
What Is The Chinese New Year?
Also know as the Spring Festival, Chinese New Year is a collection of days toward the beginning of our typical calendar year. The celebration starts at the beginning of an older, ancient Chinese calendar that was based on the cycles of the moon. Every year we celebrate in the name of a different animal from the monthly Chinese calendar, similar to a zodiac sign. It's believed that the year correlating with your Zodiac sign will bring you bad luck. While Greek astrological/zodiac signs are found based on the month you were born, a Chinese zodiac animal is found by matching up both the month and the year. For example, I was born on November 27th, 1992 so my matching sign was of a Monkey so let's use that as an example.
The Luckiest Things for "Monkeys"
According to Chinese astrology, each animal zodiac has its own lucky numbers, lucky days, lucky colors, lucky flowers, and a best direction. Here are the Goat's:
- Lucky numbers: 4 and 9.
- Lucky days: the 14th and 28th of any month according to the Chinese lunar calendar.
- Lucky colors: white, blue and gold.
- Lucky flowers: chyrsanthemum and crape-myrtle
- Lucky direction: north, west
Things that Should be Avoided by Monkeys
These things are believed to be unlucky for Moneky people.
- Unlucky colors: red and pink - Monkey people should avoid wearing these colors.
- Unlucky numbers: 2 and 7
- Unlucky direction: south, east
How to Prepare
Days before the New Year, families give their houses a good cleaning. Lots of people even paint their doors and windowpanes - usually red. Red is a popular New Year's color and it symbolizes happiness. People will also decorate their houses, pay debts, say some prayers and, of course, prepare tons of food. Early in the morning, children get cash wrapped in red paper packages. This money is supposed to bring good luck. Then the family goes door-to-door saying greetings before spending time with family and loved ones at home.
New Year's Eve Traditions
After the Chinese New Year's Eve dinner, you're not supposed to sweep anything out. In fact, brooms should be put away so you don't sweep out your luck. Knives are also put away, along with scissors, so you don't cut your luck. You can't take the trash out on New Year's Eve either, in case your luck goes out with the garbage. The Chinese New Year wouldn't be the same without firecrackers. Legend has it that by setting off firecrackers, evil energy is driven away and there will be peace and good fortune.
Have Your Say
Are you celebrating Chinese New Year? Tell us about it.
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