Chinese New Year’s Eve is celebrated by more than 20% of the world. It’s also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival and begins on the 1st day of the 1st lunar month.
This year it falls on February 5th; 2019 will be the year of the Pig in the Chinese Zodiac.
Happy Chinese New Year of the Pig!
The Chinese New Year is based on a traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar whose dates indicate both the phase of the moon as well as the time of the solar year. It originated in the Shang Dynasty (c. 1600 BC-c. 1100 BC) from the people's sacrifice to gods and ancestors at the end of an old year and the beginning of a new one.
Typically, the celebration begins on the New Year's Eve and lasts for around 15 days. Before the celebration, people traditionally clean their houses thoroughly to sweep the bad luck away and make room for the good, and also display traditional New Year's decorations.
Every family decorate their homes in red, the colour of luck, and hang up red lanterns and strings of chili peppers, paste red paper onto doors and windows. New clothes are also believed to bring good luck and start over fresh, so people add new red clothing to their Spring Festival wardrobe too.
The most important part of Chinese New Year is the family reunion. Everyone should come back home for the New Year’s Eve dinner. Lot of care is put into the menu for the most important holiday of the year: he dishes are created to give blessings for the next year. Both the names and looks are symbols of wishes for prosperity, happiness and auspiciousness. Though every region has different customs, there are some common dishes seen on every table like spring rolls, dumplings, noodles, steamed fish and steamed chicken: hot pot and rice cake are a must for the Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner.
People often visit relatives and friends, do some shopping, watch traditional Chinese New Year events, launch fireworks, and plan for the coming year. The celebration is sometimes accentuated with a religious ceremony given in honour of heaven, earth, the family's ancestors and other gods.
In modern China, Chinese New Year is a celebrated public holiday, and working professionals usually enjoy 7 days of time off, including the weekend. After the family reunion and observation of certain traditions, some modern Chinese families may make use of the public holiday as an opportunity to visit tourist destinations.
The 2019 Chinese New Year Day is on Tuesday, February 5th
Each year in the Chinese calendar is represented by one of twelve animals in the Chinese Zodiac: 2019 will be the year of the Earth Pig. Pigs in China are the symbol of wealth; their chubby faces and big ears are signs of fortune as well.
Niangao, the rice cake, is considered good luck symbolizing a higher income, a higher position, the growth of children, and generally the promise of a better year.
Fireworks and lanterns for the Spring Festival celebrations
Happy New Chinese Year of the Pig!