Chinese Lunar New Year (Spring Festival) starts on Monday and it usually is a time for family reunion and public celebration. For 2016, it is the Year Of The Monkey and many believe that those born under this sign are unlucky. Based on the Chinese zodiac, those who are born in the Year of the Monkey (1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, and 2004) are intelligent and have a personality that pulls people in.
Despite what may be said about the Year of the Monkey, here are some interesting facts about Spring Festival:
Whether you are celebrating away from home or back in China, you are bound to see dancing dragons as part of the New Year celebrations. An ancient tradition that many believe wards off evil spirits and bring good fortune, wisdom, luck and long life. Firecrackers This is another way of saying goodbye to the old year and welcoming the new year. It usually starts with a set of small firecrackers which are then followed by three loud firecrackers. The louder the better and luckier you will be.
Fish in meals It is considered to be a lucky food especially during this time of year. By eating fish, it bring about surplus cash and luck. Interestingly, the word “fish” in Chinese is “Yú” and the word “surplus” is “Shèngyú” and this is how the connection is made. They both sound alike.
It’s all about the color red! Red envelopes filled with cash are exchanged as a sign of bringing good luck and money. Red underwear is worn to avoid bad luck and hardship. There are also red couplets given out. Couplets usually have two corresponding poetic lines and for the Spring Festival it is written in red paper with black ink. It is part of the decoration for the festivities and sends good wishes for the new year.
The Lantern Festival Otherwise known as Little New Year will be celebrated on February 22 this year. It is the high point of the celebration as it welcomes the return of Spring and the gathering of family. By lighting and watching the lanterns, persons are able to send best wishes and good fortune for their family and for themselves. The festival is also filled with lion dances, lantern riddles and eating of Tangyuan or Yuanxiao. This is a round dumpling that symbolizes togetherness in the family and best wishes.