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Quick Chinese New Year Facts

Posted on 27th December 2014
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Quick Chinese New Year Facts

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To the Chinese, the Chinese New Year is the most significant of all the holidays. It’s a fabulous time of year that finds Chinese people from all over the world uniting together in their traditional 15-day celebration of their New Years. This usually revolves around lots of feasts which see lots of colourful and exotic decorations being used with these invoking the interesting symbolism that relates to the history of the holiday and their desire, as a people, for good luck. Here we listed a few of the key facts relating to the Chinese New Year Celebrations:
 
Timing and Timeframe
Unlike the Gregorian calendar, where January 1st is the accepted date for the changing of the year, the actual date of the Chinese New Year can change every other year. This is because the Chinese based their celebrations on dates using the lunar calendar which is a 10-month calendar. Usually Chinese New Year falls between January 21 and February 20 each year. It marks the beginning of the first month in the Chinese lunar calendar. 
 
With the Chinese calendar there is a secondary calendar which is the 12 year cycle of the zodiac animals that give their respective names to the upcoming year. The full list of these animals includes; rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. And it’s not just a name each of these zodiac animals brings their own unique significance to the Chinese year.
 
The Chinese New Year celebrations last for 15 days starting with the Lunar New Year and they end with the Lantern Festival which is held on the evening of the 15th. Each of those 15 days of the festivities also has its own specific significance for the Chinese. There is a specific day for visiting and honouring the elders of the family, another for welcoming the Chinese gods, a day for prayers, a day to stay home and not visiting, a day to go to the market, to have reunions, and visiting and dining with the family. During the period of the celebration, each task must be performed on the traditional and specified day.
 
Traditions
During the Chinese New Year festivities, people give gifts of money to younger friends and relatives, traditionally in red packets. Red is traditionally the colour associated with luck and good fortune and it can be seen everywhere, not only during the New Year celebrations. Lots of fireworks and firecrackers will be used during the Chinese New year and in the tradition is that they will drive away the evil spirits from the previous year allowing the new one to start with a freshness and peacefulness.
 
There are also elaborate dragon and lion dances, banners, floral decorations, red lanterns, and many more to be seen in the culmination of events on the 15th day during which the entire Chinese community will party and celebrate together in a very colourful way.
 
Where in the World?
Although it is clearly obvious that the Chinese New Year is celebrated in China, with the world getting smaller, it is now being celebrated all over the world. In almost every part of the globe there is a Chinese community that will be preparing for and enjoying the New Year celebrations. So wherever you may find yourself, in most major cities there will be some form of public celebration during which thousands of people will attend to take part.
 
So these are just a few of the interesting facts about Chinese New Year. There are other facts about China which also relate with their traditions and beliefs and much research will be required to discover them all, so in the meantime, why not just enjoy the next Chinese New Year either with your own costume party or by joining in with your local celebrations? And remember at Karnival Costumes we’ve a huge selection of Chinese costumes, party goods and lots of Chinese New Year decorations for you to choose from.
 
 
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