Chinese New Year (Spring Festival)
Chinese New Year, also called Spring Festival, has more than 4,000 years of history. It is the grandest and the most important annual event for Chinese people.
12 zodiac signs of Chinese New Year
12 animal signs of Chinese zodiac
Time for Family Reunion
Being one of the traditional festivals, it is the time for the whole families to reunite together, which is similar with Christmas Day to the westerners.
The Longest Public Holiday
The festival lasts for 15 days from the 1st to 15th day of the first lunar month, and in folklore it starts even earlier, from the 23rd day of the twelfth lunar month. Most employees will have seven days off work, while students take one month absence from school.
Holiday Origins from Monster Nian
Originating during the Shang Dynasty (17th - 11th century BC), the festival used to be observed to fight against the monster "Nian" who liked to eat children and livestock. The monster was afraid of red color and loud sound. Therefore, people decorated their houses in red and set off firecrackers to expel it.
Customs and Activities
Before the Spring Festival, every family will have a thorough house cleanup and go for festival items shopping. The spring couplets, Fu Character, and animal paper cut are pasted for decoration. Also, new clothes must be bought, especially for children. At the reunion dinner on New Year's Eve, people from north will eat dumplings, which southern people are used to have Niangao (glutinous rice cake). Red Envelopes are given to kids and elders to share the blessing.