Interesting facts about Chinese New Year

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Interesting facts about Chinese New Year:

Based on Lunisolar Calendar, the Chinese New Year begins on the new moon that appears between 21 January and 20 February. In 2019, the first day of the new moon began on February 5th, marking the beginning of the New Year 2019. The New Year celebrations is divided into 3 parts: Jan 28th -Feb 4th is called Little Year, Feb5th -Feb15- Spring Festival and Feb16-19 is Lantern Festival.

  • Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring festival
  • Say Happy New Year in Chinese – Happy New Year: 新年快乐 (xīn nián kuài lè)
  • Children receive lucky money in red envelopes
  • The Spring Festival was originally a ceremonial day to pray to gods for a good planting and harvest season. People also prayed to their ancestors, as they were treated as gods.
  • According to a legend, there was a monster named Nian (年). It would come about every New Year’s Eve. Most people would hide in their homes. But one boy was brave enough to fight him off using firecrackers. The next day, people celebrated their survival by setting off even more firecrackers.
  • The most fireworks are set of in the world that night
  •  The Spring Festival causes the largest human migration in the world. All travel back home to meet and celebrate New Year with family.
  • No showering, sweeping or throwing out garbage allowed!
  • Eat dumpling every meal
  • There is wine specially for New Year
  • Every year has a zodiac animal: Western horoscopes include 12 zodiacs, one for each month. There are 12 Chinese zodiacs as well, but the animal is for the entire year.
  • Chinese New Year ends with the Lantern Festival

What is New Year:

New Year is celebrated to mark the beginning of new calendar year. January 1st is widely celebrated as new year across the world.

However, apart from celebrating January 1st as New Year, one must have observed that, every culture celebrate again during different time of the year as New Year. For instance, India celebrate New Year between March and April as Ugadi or Gudi Padva, China celebrate around January 21 -February 21 as New Year,  The Iranian New Year, called Nowruz, is the day containing the exact moment of the Northward equinox, which usually occurs on March 20 or 21, marking the start of the spring season.

Why each country follow different time to celebrate New Year?

That is because every country follow different calendar.  Calendar is a way of organising days. The term calendar is taken from calendae, the term used to refer the first day of the month in the Roman calendar, related to the verb calare “to call out”, referring to the “calling” of the new moon when it was first seen.

There are around 40 calendars used around the world. But, the calendars can be divided under three broad framework:

Lunar Calendar:  Synchronized to the motion of the Moon (phase of the Moon), instance Islamic calendar

Lunisolar Calendar: Are based on a combination of both solar and lunar reckonings; examples include the traditional calendar of China, the Hindu calendar in India, and the Hebrew calendar.

Solar or Gregorian Calendar: Are based on perceived seasonal changes synchronized to the apparent motion of the Sun

Source: https://chinesenewyear.net/ and wikipedia, Pic Source: https://chinesenewyear.net

Activity:

To understand Lunar phase, you can ask your parents when is the new moon (Amavasya) and when is the full moon day (Purnima). Observe the Moon everyday.

Solar calendar indicate the seasons: With parents discuss the different seasons and months.

 

 

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