Interesting Facts About Chinese New Year: The First Day of the Great Year

Today, Chinese New Year is widely celebrated around the world, with such as like London and San Francisco hosting gatherings of thousands of people. Even so, for many of us, this cultural export is about little more than the bright parades, Chinese food, and fireworks.
This New Year festival is centuries old and gains significance due to several traditions and myths involved. Traditionally, the festival was the time to honor deities and the ancestors. The countries and territories with high Chinese populations including Mainland China, Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, and Mauritius celebrate Chinese New Year. The Chinese New Year is regarded a major holiday for the Chinese and influenced the lunar New Year celebrations of its geographic neighbors.
Tens of thousands of Chinese celebrate Chinese New Year all over the world every year with festive shopping, family gatherings, firecrackers and street parades to welcome the New Year. Through the efforts of different government bodies, Chinese associations, and Chinese migrants across the world, this important event in the lunar calendar is gaining popularity with locals and the tourists who flock to different Chinatowns to join in the festivities and enjoy the unique sounds and sights which accompany the Chinese New Year.
Chinese New Year is a traditional and paramount Chinese holiday. It’s also known as the Spring Festival that’s the literal translation of the Chinese name. Since the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year is also called the Lunar New Year.
A lunisolar calendar uses both the solar year and the moon phase. Without further ado, let’s look at more interesting facts about Chinese New Year.
1. Children get red envelopes full of cash instead of wrapped gifts which other nationalities offer at Christmas. The amount they get is often an even number. The amount can’t be divisible by four. In Chinese, the number four (4) means death.
2. As the longest festival in the Chinese calendar, Chinese New Year can last as many as fifteen days. Kids take a whole month off of school.
3. Since 1980s China Central Television broadcasts the celebration. It’s an evening-long style show, and the whole country watches it.
4. Everybody carries stunning paper lanterns and walks along the streets on the final day of Chinese New Year. It’s meant to light the way for the New Year. The day is known as Lantern Day.
5. Another name for Chinese New Year is The First Day of the Great Year.
6. Red colored paper-cuts (made the way we make snowflakes) are used to decorate the doors and windows. Wealth, longevity, good fortune and happiness are the themes of these paper-cuts.
7. The origin of Chinese New Year is centuries old and is based on the defense of the people against a mythical beast known as the Nian [年] using firecrackers, food and the color red.
8. The dragon and lion dances are popular during the Chinese New Year because of their association with the origin of the festival, where it’s believed that the clashing of cymbals and loud drumming will chase away evil spirits and bad luck.
9. To avoid washing away good luck for the New Year, some Chinese believe that no one should wash his or her hair on the first day of Chinese New Year.
10. To ensure you aren’t ridden with debts in the New Year, the Chinese believe that all unsettled bills and monies owed to family members and friends should be squared off before the Chinese New Year.
11. An ancient Chinese belief says that the second day of the New Year is the birthday of all dogs and that people should be more genial to dogs on that day.
12. It does not matter when an individual was actually born—on the Chinese New Year; everybody turns a year older.
13. During the Chinese New Year, it’s considered unlucky to greet someone in a bedroom. So, everybody, even the sick and the elderly, tries to get dressed and relax in their living room.
14. The fifth day of the Chinese New Year is known as Po Woo. On this day, people remain at home to welcome the God of Wealth. In facts, nobody visits their families or friends since it’s believed visiting will bring bad luck to both parties.

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