Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year, is an annual fifteen-day holiday in China. It is also celebrated in Chinese communities around the world. According to the Chinese calendar, on February 1, 2022, the Year of the Water Tiger will formally begin, leaving behind the Year of the Ox.
An interesting fact about this holiday is that it begins with the new moon and lasts until the next full moon.
The origins of Chinese New Year are full of legends, one of which says that thousands of years ago, a monster named Nian—which means year—attacked villagers at the beginning of each new year.
The monster was afraid of loud noises, bright lights and the color red, so people used these things to scare the beast away. It is for this reason that celebrations to bid farewell to the old year and attract prosperity during the new year include fireworks, red clothes, and decorations.
During celebrations of the new year, the youngest members of each household receive money in colorful red envelopes, while many other traditions honor the deceased. It is also customary to feast and visit family during the celebration.
Another Chinese New Year tradition is the thorough cleaning of the house to rid it of bad luck and unpleasantness. It is also traditional to prepare and enjoy special meals on certain days.
The last event celebrated during Chinese New Year is the Lantern Festival, during which people hang glowing lanterns in temples or carry them during a night parade.
As the dragon is a Chinese symbol of good fortune, the dragon dance is the highlight of festival celebrations in many areas. This procession consists of a long, colorful dragon that is carried through the streets by numerous dancers.
Other interesting facts about Chinese New Year
Since the mid-1990s, the Chinese have enjoyed seven consecutive days of rest during Chinese New Year. This week of rest is called Spring Festival, a term sometimes used to refer to Chinese New Year in general.
The date of the Chinese New Year changes every year, similar to Christian Easter, but is always between January 21 and February 20.
This year, 2022 will be celebrated on Tuesday, February 1, and the celebrations traditionally extend one week. It is for this reason that the Chinese state declared holidays from January 31 to February 6, 2022.
However, there are more traditionally spiritual people who extend the festivities by an extra week, as they consider returning to work earlier to be bad luck.
As a final closure to the festivities this year, the Lantern Festival will be celebrated on February 15, during which the Chinese enjoy shows with colored lanterns and eat sweet rice balls called tanyuan.
2022 is the Year of the Water Tiger
Chinese astrology is structured in a twelve-year cycle, with each year represented by an animal and an element. In 2022, the Year of the Water Tiger will begin, and it will run from February 1, 2022 to January 21, 2023.
According to Eastern astrology, the Water Tiger represents a stage in which people must remain aligned with their values and interests in order to persevere.
It is a period full of traps and dangers, so the figure of this animal tries to teach the value of survival through rationality. It is a good year to make decisions, while maintaining prudence and avoiding falling into impulsiveness.
This new year will be focused on more challenges for all the animals in millennial astrology. Some will be more favored than others by the influence of the Water Tiger. It will be necessary to be decisive and have great willpower to succeed.
By Andreina Ibarra
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