Chinese New Year, Everything Red

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This year the Chinese New Year (or Lunar New Year) begins on January 22nd, 2023. But, did you know that the holiday has been the most widely celebrated holiday in the world for over 1,000 years? The holiday is associated with many interesting legends and customs, honoring deities and ancestors, prayers, offerings, and other acts of worship. Read on to find out 10 things you didn’t know about Chinese New Year.

Interesting Facts About Lunar New Year

1. It’s Commonly Known as the Spring Festival

Because the holiday marks the end of the coldest days in the winter solstice, you’ll often hear it referred to as the Spring Festival, or chunjie, in China. People embrace the spring and its many delights, like planting and harvests and the symbol of new beginnings.

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2. Chinese New Year Never Falls on a Fixed Date

The Chinese New Year holiday follows the Lunar calendar, which is based on how long it takes the moon to orbit the earth. As a result, this means that the date for Chinese New Year is all over the place.
Lunar New Year-Firecrackers

3. It’s the Night When the Most Fireworks Are Set-Off

Following a myth that firecrackers supposedly scare off monsters and bad luck, this is the night when the most fireworks and firecrackers are set off. Moreover, people who celebrate the holiday will stay up on Chinese New Year’s Eve and set off firecrackers at midnight. Then, again in the morning, they’ll welcome the new year in the same way.

4. It’s the longest Chinese holiday

The Chinese New Year is technically 15 days. However, celebrations start on New Year’s Eve (making it 16 days). Many people take time off of work and celebrate with their families!

5. Singles Hire ‘Partners’ to Take Home

You know those nosy relatives who interrogate you at every family gathering? Well, it’s even worse in China. You can imagine why, with one of the most important parts of Chinese culture being conceiving a child and passing down the family name.

6. Showering, Sweeping, and Throwing out the Garbage Is Forbidden!

To ensure you don’t wash away any good luck, showering isn’t allowed on New Year’s Day, and sweeping and throwing out the garbage is forbidden before the 5th day. There is also a day before the Spring Festival that’s dedicated to cleaning, to get rid of the bad luck and make room for the good.
Chinese New Year-Dumplings

7. Dumplings, Dumplings, and More Dumplings

We hope you like dumplings, because technically, you’re supposed to be eating them for every meal, every day during the Chinese New Year. However, people don’t usually do this anymore, though, because even eating delicious food over and over again becomes too much.

Here’s a great dumpling recipe if you’d like to try it out!

8. Red Is the New Black During Chinese New Year

Did you know that the Chinese decorate for the Chinese New Year? Each family decks their house in everything red. This is because it is believed that the color red will scare away monsters.

9. You Grow 1 Year Older on the Spring Festival

In China, everyone has a “real” age and a “fake” nominal age. Your real age is the one we all know about, the one when you grow one year older on your birthday. The fake nominal age though increases with each Spring Festival.
Lanterns

10. Chinese New Year Finishes with the Lantern Festival

The first full moon of the (lunar) year is the Yuanxiao Festival or the Lantern Festival, or simply known as the Chinese Valentine’s Day. Though family and respect are still important, it’s considered a night of partying and freedom.

Gift Ideas for the Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year-Red Envelopes1. Red Envelopes

Sending gifts (or even better, money) in red envelopes serves as a great gift idea because the red color of the envelope symbolizes good luck. According to traditional thought, it wards off evil spirits. The elders usually give red envelopes filled with “pocket money” to unmarried juniors to wish them luck for the new year.

2. Cigarettes

Additionally, if the gift receiver smokes, prepare two cartons of cigarettes yourself, using the brands they like. A packet of cigarettes you can buy anywhere is considered improper.
Chinese New Year-Tea

3. Tea

Tea is one of the most popular drinks in China. For this gift, prepare two boxes of tea leaves in a neat package.

Fruits

4. Fruit

Fruit is a safe option for a Chinese New Year gift idea. You can gift apples or oranges in boxes. However, avoid gifting pears.

Chinese New Year-Article

5. Fine Wine and Liquor

If the person receiving the gift likes drinking, you can get fine wine as a Chinese New Year gift. Liquor typically gets given in pairs (two bottles).

新年快乐 (Happy New Year)!

We hope you enjoyed reading our article about Chinese New Year! Valentine’s day is also coming up, so check out our unique date ideas or gift suggestions for your significant other here!