In China, New Year is called the Spring Holiday or Spring Festival.
The Chinese have a saying “in the spring, the whole year is planned.” This reflects the attitude of the Chinese tradition towards the New Year period. It is still very cold, but the holiday marks the end of the coldest days. People welcome spring and what it brings with it: crops and harvests, new beginnings, hope for a better life, for a better job, that everything will be fine during the year.
There is no exact date for the start of the Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year is often unofficially called the “lunar new year” because its date is determined based on the lunar phases. And since the Chinese New Year is calculated using the lunar calendar, its celebration falls on different dates each time from January 21 to February 21. In 2021, the Chinese New Year is on February 12th – this is when the patron of the year, the Metal Ox, takes over.
The Spring Festival leads to the world’s largest human migration
Chinese New Year is one of the most important and honored holidays. The most important part of this holiday is family reunification. Everyone should go home for New Year’s Eve dinner.
In modern China, most elderly parents live in rural areas, and their children work in cities. Moving around the country back home and on vacation is called Chunyun or spring migration.
Even on ordinary days, the metro is jam-packed. Imagine what is happening during the Chunyun period. Also, the earliest that you can buy train tickets is 14 days before the travel date. This leads to insane hype, real battles are going on for tickets. Thousands of tickets are sold per second.
On this day Chinese prayed to the gods
The Spring Festival was originally a ceremonial day. On this day, they prayed to the gods, asked for good weather, a bountiful harvest, etc. Also, people prayed to their ancestors and addressed them as gods.
And fought against monsters
In China, there are a huge number of different legends related to various aspects of society. The New Year was no exception. Here is one of the legends:
- In ancient China, people were constantly attacked by a horned monster named Nian. On New Year’s Eve, a monster climbed out of the sea to attack people and livestock. Therefore, people locked themselves in houses and put food outside to appease the monster.
- And then one day a beggar wandered into the village. A lonely old woman took him in. In return, he promised her that he would protect the city from the evil monster. The beggar marked the houses with red paint. And when the evil Nian appeared, the beggar began to blow up firecrackers and fireworks everywhere. This performance made the monster run away! The next day, people celebrated their survival by launching more fireworks, which became a tradition in China.
No shower or cleaning allowed!
You cannot take a shower on New Year’s as it may wash away your luck. You also cannot sweep the floor or throw away the garbage.
However, just before the Spring Festival, there is a day during which you can get your house and yourself in order. On this day, everyone should get rid of bad luck and make room for good luck.
Single people in China employ fake brides and grooms
With the New Year holidays approaching, many single people in China are beginning to feel uncomfortable. The fact is that in the Celestial Empire, the sense of family is very strong. Raising a child and leaving him his last name is very important for a Chinese.
There are even special apps to help single adults who live and work in big cities to find a soul mate … for a period. Such applications are especially in demand during the New Year’s holiday when single men and women feel acute pressure from families and relatives to settle down and get married.