CHINA

SPRING FESTIVAL

Chinese New Year is an important traditional Chinese holiday. In China, it is also known as the Spring Festival, the literal translation of the modern Chinese name. Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally ran from Chinese New Year's Eve, the last day of the last month of the Chinese calendar, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month, making the festival the longest in the Chinese calendar. Because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year is often referred to as the "Lunar New Year".


MYTHOLOGY

According to tales and legends, the beginning of Chinese New Year started with the fight against a mythical beast called the Nian. Nian would come on the first day of New Year to eat livestock, crops, and even villagers, especially children. To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year. It was believed that after the Nian ate the food they prepared, it wouldn't attack any more people. One day people saw that the Nian was scared away by a little child wearing red. The villagers then understood that the Nian was afraid of the color red. time when the New Year was about to come, the villagers would hang red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. People also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nian. From then on, Nian never came to the village again.

WHEN IS THE CHINESE NEW YEAR?

The lunisolar Chinese calendar determines the date of Chinese New Year. The calendar is also used in countries that have adopted or have been influenced by Han culture, notably Korea, Japan and Viet Nam. In the Gregorian calendar, Chinese New Year falls on different dates each year, a date between January 21 and February 20. In the Chinese calendar, winter solstice must occur in the 11th month, which means that Chinese New Year usually falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice. In traditional Chinese Culture, lichun is a solar term marking the start of spring, which occurs about February 4.


SYMBOLISM

As with all cultures, Chinese New Year traditions incorporate elements that are symbolic of deeper meaning. One common example of Chinese New Year symbolism is the red diamond-shaped fú characters, which are displayed on the entrances of Chinese homes. It symbolizes the arrival of luck, happiness, and prosperity.