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Chinese New Year Celebrations - Year of the Rooster

Posted on 18th January 2017
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Chinese New Year Blog Post by Karnival CostumesChinese New Year Celebrations

Clown Logo of Karnival Costumes
Among the various celebrations and festivities for the Chinese, Chinese New Year has always had and been given the most importance. Across China and other parts of the world, families will undertake travel so that they can be together at this most auspicious of times. This is very similar to the Western concept of getting together in-order to celebrate Christmas. It is estimated that 200 million journeys are made in China alone.

Celebrated by nearly 20% of the world’s population, Chinese New Year is also known as Lunar New Year as well as The Spring Festival. The Chinese Year is also symbolized by an animal, very much like the Western Zodiac. The animal to symbolises 2017 is The Rooster and New Year, based on the lunar calendar, is January 28th.

Myths of Chinese New Year

There are many myths as to how Chinese New year came about, the most commonly held is that in ancient China, at the same time every year, a big monster would come out of hiding and start devouring people and crops. One year, a brave villager started letting off fire crackers, banging a big gong and waving a large red banner in order to scare away the monster.

It worked and from that point onwards, at the same time every year, people would decorate their houses with ref flags and banners and they would beat their gongs and let of more fire-crackers with the flash bangs keeping the monster away. And these are traditions that are still observed today – with Chinese New Year being the time when the most fireworks are let off anywhere in the world, although their use in cities is nowadays being restricted due to their fire hazard.
2017 year of The Rooster from the blog by Karnival Costumes online party shop
Also steeped in tradition is the custom of naming each New Year after one of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac cycle.  2017 is the year of The Rooster and its image will take centre stage in most decoration themes. With many Chinese still believing in astrology and superstitions people adopt specific priorities during the festivities.
These will include; making amends and reconciling disputes with others, avoiding any form of offense and re-establishing old ties with family and friends. Cleaning the house, and body with the buying and wearing of new clothes. As the primary time of gift giving, from old to young, boss to employee etc, billions of red envelopes or “hong bao” will be used.  

Chinese New Year Celebrations

Traditionally, the family would have a reunion dinner on the eve of CNY. This is where family members get together, no matter where they are in the country or the world, and sit down for a good meal. Until recently, these reunion dinners were always celebrated at home but in recent years, for the more affluent, families have started taking their reunion dinners to good restaurants.
Once the clock strikes twelve and the New Year arrives, firecrackers and fire works will be fired off marking the official start of the celebrations and of Chinese New Year.
Everywhere will be decorated including homes where Chinese New Year will be celebrated with visiting of relatives and friends. The most popular colour is obviously red, the colour of luck and good fortune.  Chinese decorations are available around the world and in the UK, a great selection of Chinese Decorations is available at Karnival Costumes.
In the olden days, festivities would last for 15 days with each day being given a specific meaning, however today, most people will celebrate for a few days and spend the rest of the time at home.

Chinese Greetings for Chinese New Year

If you have Chinese friends who you plan to visit, don’t forget to take two oranges when you go as this simple gift will indicate that you are bring wealth to the hosts. You may also need a few common expressions and greetings;
“Jínián Dàjí” - Lots of luck for the Rooster year
"Gong Xi Fa Cai" - Have a prosperous new year
"Zu Ni Nian Nian You Yu" - Wishing you a abundant year
"Xīnnián Hǎo" - Happy New Year.

Lastly, if you’re planning to celebrate Chinese New Year with a party of your own, then you’ll find a super selection of costumes, Chinese party goods, Chinese tableware and much more at karnival-house.co.uk 
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