Traditional Chinese New Year is fast approaching and it comes a host of superstitions that these first days of the year will apparently dictate how the next 12 months will play out for each of us.
According to Chinese beliefs, doing any of these on January 25th, which means the first day Chinese New Year falls in 2020 – will lead to bad luck for the entire coming year. But don’t worry, it isn’t all doom and gloom because 2020 is the Year of the Rat, an animal that symbolizes wealth and the beginning of a new day.
Hereunder is everything that you need to know about the annual Lunar New Year celebration in China, as well as recipes to cook for a delicious family feast and why the Year of the Rat will be more-lucky for some than others.
When is Chinese New Year?
The annual celebration begins on the new moon that comes between Jan 21 and Feb 20. The Chinese year will start on 25 Jan 2020 and end on 11 Feb 2021, when the Year of the Ox begins.
New year in the opinion of Chinese as the Spring Festival, it is marked by the lunisolar Chinese calendar; this means the date changes from year to year. The festivities in China always start one day before the new year and they continue until the Lantern Festival, exactly at the 15th day of the new year.
According to astrology, the Chinese zodiac is divided into 12 blocks (or houses) just like it in western area, but with the major difference that each house has a time-length of one year instead of just one month as the westerner.
Each traditional Chinese New Year is characterized by one of 12 animals that appear in the Chinese zodiac, the last year was the Year of the pig.
Which Chinese zodiac sign are you?
The way to define what is your Chinese zodiac is the year you were born in Chinese lunar calendar. Every zodiac sign has its own characteristic, base on that you can know more about other characteristic, what to do and what should not do.
Chinese New Year Celebrations
Chinese New Year Decorations — Lucky Red Items
New year in China, every street, building, and house is decorated with the lucky color – red. Not only in China, but many Asia countries in general, red is the major color for festival, it’s also believed to be an auspicious color.
In lunar new year, red lanterns hang in streets, red couplets are pasted on doors, modern buildings are decorated with red color as the images of prosperity.
The upcoming 2020 will be a year of the Rat, thus the decorations related to rats will be commonly seen everywhere.
Chinese New Year’s Eve — Family Time
In Asia in general, Lunar New Year is time for families gathering, and China is not an exception. Chinese New Year’s Eve is the important time when the whole family reunion. No matter where they are, people are expected to be home in this special time, share the beginning moment of the year with beloved people. Family member sit around a circle table and enjoy the reunion dinner in the Chinese New Year’s Eve since it’s believed to be the most important meal of the year.
Firecrackers and Fireworks at Chinese New Year
Fireworks has been set off from the first minute of the year, sign for the luck of the year. From public displays in the city square to millions of private celebrations in rural areas, setting fireworks is an indispensable festivity.
Chinese New Year Gifts and Red Envelopes
Like Christmas in Western countries, people exchange gifts during the special time. In rural areas, the younger people are received the red envelopes (or we call lucky money). The red envelopes have money inside and believed to bring good luck.