Take this opportunity to show off your knowledge of Chinese culture by starting conversation about Chinese New Year. People are usually emotionally high and more likely to fall in love.
The most important festival for the Chinese is approaching – Chinese New Year. This is the time when families come together for reunions, the time when tons of delicious food is eaten, and the busiest time of the year for housewives (just like Christmas for westerners)! This year, Chinese New Year falls on February 5. As most Chinese festivals follow the lunar calendar, the days they fall on are different according to the western calendar. As the first day of the New Year falls on the first day of spring, it is also known as the Spring Festival.
In Chinese culture, each year is represented by a zodiac animal – Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig – and a complete cycle consists of 12 years. The coming year (2019) is the year of the pig.
Chinese New Year celebrations actually start on New Year’s Eve, the day when families reunite over a big meal before New Year and ends on the fifteenth day after New Year. As a result, the whole country is on the move in a rush to return to their home villages for reunion (most of the younger generation work a long way from home so they need to travel long distances to go back to their home villages, where their families or parents are).
The spring cleaning must be done before the first day of the New Year, and the floor cannot be swept nor can rubbish be thrown out on the first day, as this symbolizes sweeping away or throwing away the good luck for the coming year. Homes are decorated in red, and new clothes are worn, normally red in color, during the New Year period. On the night of New Year’s Eve, firecrackers are set off to scare away monsters and bad luck, but have been made illegal in many places owing to safety reasons.
On the first day of the New Year, people usually stay at home with their immediate family. The second day is the day when married couples return to the wife’s parents house for dinner, and the third day visiting is not allowed as superstitious beliefs it is prone to arguments. Also, married couples must give red packets with money inside to unmarried individuals as a symbol of good luck as long as you see each other during the fifteen days of the New Year.
Other acts of taboo during the New Year period include getting your hair cut, using scissors, knives or sharp things, arguing, swearing or saying unlucky words, such as those to do with “death” or sickness”, and breaking things.
Find out other things you didn’t know by chatting to someone on AsiaMe.com! Or even better, take this opportunity to show off your knowledge of Chinese culture by starting a conversation about Chinese New Year with the facts you just learned. The ladies will be impressed by how much you know, scoring yourself points!
Hurry up and prepare yourself. If you can, take the courage to extend the olive branch to each other. During the holiday season, people are usually emotionally high and more likely to fall in love.
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