People all Over the World Gather for The Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is a traditional and very important Chinese holiday that occured on February 16th of 2018. It was originally a festival to honor ancestors as well as holy or sacred beings. It is also known as the Spring Festival, which is the literal translation from the Chinese name. It is also referred to as the Lunar New Year because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar. A lunisolar calendar uses both the moon phase and the solar year. Chinese New Year is the longest festival in the Chinese calendar.
The Chinese New Year also ties in with the Chinese zodiac. The Chinese zodiac is composed of twelve zodiac animals, as well as the five Chinese elements to create a 60 year cycle. The animals are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig, and the elements are fire, water, earth, wood, and metal. The zodiac determines luck, compatibility, and many other things in traditional Chinese culture.
The Zodiac is not just about your animal sign, many other factors are determined by the zodiac, like your luck. Chinese teacher Neal Myers explained how the Zodiac fit into the Chinese New Year.
“In the Zodiac there are twelve animals and it’s in a cycle of twelve years in which the Zodiac animal is repeated, and in 2018 the dog is the Zodiac of the Lunar New Year. There are always positive and negative traits, if you are born on the day of Lunar New Year you would be twelve once the next animal comes around,” said Myers.
The Chinese New Year is one of the oldest modern holidays and it has a very deep and interesting history.
“This holiday is very important to the Chinese and it is actually one of the biggest holidays of the year. This tradition date back about 5,000 years ago. This holiday is based off of stories that come around and all of the families come together just to celebrate it for two weeks in which China is actually shut down,” mentioned Myers.
There are many traditions that the Chinese celebrate during the New Year, with a lot of them focused around the animal that the Year represents. Myers’ Chinese class participated in the New Year by making art.
“In my Chinese class, we decorated with Chinese red paper cuts and they ended up making Year of the Dog paper cuts. Red is one of the most important colors traditionally to the Chinese. It means of good luck, protection, prosperity and wealth. Usually during this holiday, the Chinese would decorate their houses with little red cups or decorate the door with chinese poems they wrote bringing good luck to the New Year,” explained Myers, “As the story goes, the beast would come out in the middle of the winter and attack the village and they realized that this beast feared loud noises and the color red. Hence the color red is what people decorate in to keep away the evil. Also the loud noises being the fireworks and drums pair with the red also keeping evil out of China.”
The Chinese New Year is a very large holiday that has many traditions, and it continues to spread across the world every year.