Chinese New Year 2021
It’s the most important holiday in China and to Chinese people all over. 2021 is the year of the Ox. "The ox, in Chinese culture, is a hardworking zodiac sign. It usually signifies movements so, hopefully, the world will be less static than last year and get moving again in the second half of the year.
Here are some interesting facts that you probably didn’t know about Chinese New Year.
Chinese New Year is also known as 'The Spring Festival'
In China, you’ll hear it being called chunjie (春节), or the Spring Festival. It’s still very wintry, but the holiday marks the end of the coldest days. People welcome spring and what it brings along: planting and harvests, new beginnings and fresh starts.
There's No Set Date For Chinese New YearAccording to the Lunar calendar, the Spring Festival is on January 1st and lasts until the 15th (the full moon). Unlike western holidays such as Thanksgiving or Christmas when you try to calculate it with the solar (Gregorian) calendar, the date is all over the place.
Chinese New Year ranges from January 21 to February 20.
The Most Fireworks Set Off In The World That Night
As in the myth about Nian, firecrackers are supposed to scare off monsters and bad luck. So people stay up on Chinese New Year’s Eve and set off firecrackers at midnight. In the morning, firecrackers are used again to welcome the new year and good luck. That same night, families also burn fake paper money and printed gold bars in honour of their deceased loved ones. Similar to the Korean Chuseok holiday or the Mexican Day of the Dead traditions, they believe the offerings will bring fortune and good luck to their ancestors in the afterlife.
No showering, sweeping or throwing out garbage allowed!
Showering isn’t allowed New Year’s Day. Sweeping and throwing out garbage isn’t allowed before the 5th. This is to make sure you don’t wash away the good luck! On the other hand, there’s a day before the Spring Festival dedicated to cleaning. This day is to sweep the bad luck away and make room for the good.
The Chinese decorate everything red for Chinese New Year
Every family will deck their homes in this colour. Do you remember the story about Nian? Firecrackers aren’t the only thing that scared the monster away. Red is also an invaluable weapon, and used in nearly all Chinese New Year decorations.
Every year has a zodiac animal
2021 is the Year of the Ox. Some of the animals (such as Rat, Snake, Dog and Pig) aren’t normally well-liked in Chinese culture. But as a zodiac, their positive traits are bestowed on people born that year.
They play a much bigger role than in Western cultures. Your animal can decide your career, health and relationship success. Make sure you find out what zodiac animal you are!
Chinese New Year ends with the Lantern Festival
The first full moon of the (lunar) year is the Yuanxiao Festival (元宵节 / yuán xiāo jié) or Lantern Festival (灯节 / dēng jié). Though family is still important, it’s still a night of partying and freedom.
In ancient times, girls weren’t allowed to venture outside by themselves. But on this night, they were able to walk around, moon-gaze and look at the beautiful lanterns. Because of this, it’s also known as Valentine’s Day in China.
Chinese New Year is celebrated all around the world
One out of every 5 people in the world is Chinese. But that stat doesn’t include the millions of overseas Chinese and people of Chinese descent.
London, England; San Francisco, USA; Sydney, Australia; all claim to have the biggest Spring Festival celebrations outside of Asia. We’re can’t say if that’s true or not. But if you have a Chinatown nearby, you can definitely get a feel of what the celebrations are like.
Make sure you go check out the parades, lion dances, lantern statues, fireworks and amazing food!
This is an unbelievable festival and to be in China when the celebrations are happening is second to none!! Pyrotex has friends all over the world especially in Asia and we would like to wish you all a very 'Happy New Year' (新年快乐)
- Peter Hemmings