Everything you don’t know about the Chinese New Year, a millennial celebration

Beyond the clichés, the Chinese New Year is a party with a deep meaning.


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LatinAmerican Post | Luis Angel Hernández Liborio

Although almost everyone agrees on the celebration of the New Year on January 1 (due to the Gregorian calendar), there are also festivals that celebrate the arrival of a new year in other calendars, such as the Jewish or the Chinese. The Chinese New Year is one of the best known in the world, thanks to the vast migration that has reached all over the world.

However, beyond the dragons, fireworks and other elements that stereotypically characterize this celebration, there is also a deep meaning that an ancient tradition has. In this 2022 Chinese New Year will be celebrated on Tuesday, February 1.

Spring Festival

This celebration is very old, one of the best known legends speaks of “Nian” an evil creature that terrified people on the eve of a new year until it was subdued by a heroic character who recommended people to fill everything red and launch fireworks every year to scare away the “Nian”. Hence, that color is so present in this culture, it is a role very similar to that of white in the West.

If you believe in astrology and know your zodiac sign, it is very likely that you have also heard about the signs of the Chinese horoscope. However, although its use tends to be superficial, its origin dates back to ancient times. According to tradition, Buddha invited twelve animals before his death, each one assigned a year corresponding to the signs of the horoscope. Thus, in addition to the year itself, every twelve, a simple cycle is fulfilled, and every 60 years a complete cycle is fulfilled, according to information from the Confucius Institute of the Santo Tomás University.

Thus, next February 1 will begin the year corresponding to the Tiger, which, according to astrological tradition, will bring changes in the lives not only of people born under this sign, but for all signs. One of the things that attracts the most attention among the Chinese are the predictions created from this sign and its interaction with nature, an art of interpretation that adds a halo of mystery to people’s lives.

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The previous celebrations

China, a country where Christianity is far from being the dominant religion, is full of all kinds of beliefs about nature, energy and philosophies that converge harmoniously. One of the most common practices is to clean the house to receive the good energy that the new year brings.

In addition to cleaning the house, there are a series of symbols that will help the arrival of positive things in the coming year, among them are the “spring copies” that are texts that are placed on the doors to attract good luck. Unlike in the West, where Christmas tends to overshadow the New Year, in China the most important celebration is precisely the calendar change, so the festive atmosphere is felt weeks before. This is why between January and February is an excellent time to visit the Asian country.

Modern China has been transforming the celebration. It is still a family day where gifts wrapped in red are exchanged, as tradition dictates, but where technological gifts prevail. One of the most curious customs of this time is the “boyfriend rental” for this party, given the social pressure of having a partner, this practice is used, according to China Daily.

The subsequent celebrations

Fifteen days after welcoming the New Year, the Chinese celebrate the “Festival of Lanterns”. It is a full moon day, so lights are turned on everywhere that, accompanied by red, create a warm atmosphere that welcomes spring. Currently, thousands of figures are created in China and technology such as LED is used to illuminate entire cities full of figures of all kinds in order to celebrate the end of the holidays in a big way.

Also, at this time, we can again see the traditional dragon dances accompanied by percussions that are very characteristic of this time, one of the most recognized postcards in the world.

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