25 Jan Happy New Year!*
*Chinese New Year, that is.
Today, 25th January, marks the start of the Chinese New Year: The year of the rat. Also known as the Spring Festival in mainland China, the event is one of several lunar New Years in Asia.
The festival originated as as ceremonial day to pray to Gods for good planting and harvest. Tradition also celebrates the defeat of a monster named Nian by a boy that fought him off using firecrackers. The monster would come about every New Year’s Eve, and the boys triumph is celebrated on New Years Day by setting off firecrackers. Firecrackers are thought to scare off monsters and bad luck. This has lead to the Chinese New Year being a huge day for fireworks.
If you’re planning on catching a flight to China any time soon, you might be in for a busy flight. The Spring Festival causes huge migration levels as many people return home to their families for the event.
If you want to live out this Chinese tradition in all it’s glory, you better refrain from showering and throwing out rubbish! This is said to prevent people from washing away the good luck. You can also look forward to eating a lot of dumplings, as this treat is a typical meal during The Spring Festival.
To end the celebrations, the tradition dictates that the first full moon of the lunar year brings the Yuanxiao Festival – The Lantern Festival. Years ago, girls were only allowed out by themselves on this night, leading to the coining of this day as Valentines Day in China.
Happy Chinese New Year Everyone!
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