Chinese New Year 2023 falls on January 22. But how is Chinese New Year actually celebrated?
Soon it will be time for the Chinese New Year. Most people have probably heard of the Chinese calendar, where each year is represented by an animal. But how is the Chinese New Year celebrated and why does this holiday not have a fixed date?
When is Chinese New Year?
The Chinese New Year falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice, which is between January 21st and February 19th. In China, the lunar calendar is used to calculate the time for holidays and, unlike the Gregorian calendar, it is always the new moon that begins a new month. This is why there is no fixed date for the Chinese New Year.
How is Chinese New Year celebrated?
New Year is the most important and biggest holiday in Chinese culture. Before the celebration, the house is cleaned and decorated with red, a color that symbolizes happiness. The decorations can consist of, among other things, red lanterns and red sheets of paper with good luck greetings.
The New Year itself is celebrated by visiting relatives, eating good food, and setting off New Year’s rockets to scare away evil spirits. Children are given red envelopes with money as a symbol of the coming year’s wealth and happiness.
In Chinese astrology, each year is represented by an animal, whose characteristics are said to influence the people born in that year. It is a legend about the Buddha that underlies this:
According to legend, the Buddha called all the animals to him when he was about to leave the world, but only twelve animals came to him – a rat, an ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and a pig. These animals were given a place in the Chinese calendar, and since the rat was first in legend, it is also the first animal in Chinese astrology.