For most Western cultures, New Year’s celebrations have been over and done with for more than a month. But in Chinese culture, the festivities are just about to begin and will stretch beyond just one single day. Here are some interesting facts you might not know about Chinese New Year:
1. This year, Chinese New Year (also known as the Lunar New Year) begins February 16 and celebrations last until March 2. The dates differ from year to year as the tradition is based on the lunar calendar, but it typically falls between January 21 and February 20.
2. According to the Chinese zodiac, 2018 is the Year of the Dog. This sign applies not only to people born in 2018, but to those born in 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994 and 2006.
3. Unfortunately, when your sign comes around, it’s considered an unlucky year. If you were born in the Year of the Dog, 2018 is thought to be a year of conflict and uncertainty for you. Year of the Dog people are advised to avoid taking risks or making big decisions in 2018.
4. People born in the Year of the Dog are said to be loyal, just and conservative.
5. Celebrations begin with the Spring Festival, which runs February 16-26. Traditionally, the day starts with firecrackers. Legend says that Chinese New Year celebrations originated among villagers who ignited firecrackers and played drums to scare off a monster.
6. Chinese New Year is associated with many superstitions. During the Spring Festival, cleaning and sweeping is forbidden as you may sweep away your good fortune.
7. Each day of the Spring Festival brings its own traditions and superstitions. Observers take part in certain activities and eat certain foods to ensure good fortune for the year to come.
8. In Chinese culture, the color red is associated with good fortune so it’s no surprise that everything is decorated with red during Chinese New Year. Hanging red lanterns and wearing red clothing during the Spring Festival is thought to bring good luck.
9. Chinese New Year concludes with the Lantern Festival, which usually lasts for a week. The activities involve lighting lanterns, solving riddles, and elaborate dragon and lion folk dances.
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