why is chinese new year important

All rights reserved. The eighth day is to celebrate the eve of the birth of the Jade Emperor, the Ruler of Heaven. One of the most notable is the San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade, which takes place in Chinatown and features floats and costumes, firecrackers and red lanterns strung across streets. The Chinese New Year is to celebrate the new year according to China's lunar calendar. To keep Heaven and Earth  in harmony, on that day the Emperor performed traditional rituals, offered prayers and selected the music to be played for the season. Other East Asian and Southeast Asian countries — such as Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Mauritius and the Philippines — celebrate, as well. Because Chinese culture is one of the oldest in the world, the origins of the Chinese New Year is lost in the mists of time. I learned at an early age that I am a rat, which I was not too thrilled about. Don't miss the latest local news Subscribe to IndyStar for just $0.99 per month for the first three months! The seventh day is celebrated by having a dinner comprised of a salad of raw fish – Yusheng (魚生) or Yee Sang. Because Chinese culture is one of the oldest in the world, the origins of the Chinese New Year is lost in the mists of time. The date is determined by the first day of the Chinese lunar calendar and lands between mid-January to … The dance of the Red Dragon is a combination of movement, music, and acrobatic skill. When their exertions comes to an end, shop owners place a package containing money into the dragon’s ‘mouth’. A couple of rodents feast on a deserted road –  usually the busiest in Kuala Lumpur  – during Chinese New Year holidays. And the lanterns are of many shapes and colour. Email her at kellie.hwang@indystar.com. Your California Privacy Rights / Privacy Policy. Glowing lanterns illuminate the night sky, and skilled performers wear elaborate lion and dragon costumes to perform exciting dances. When I was little, I always celebrated the new year twice. "Abundance is associated with the idea of redness," Huang said. Chinese New Year is the most important and longest of all Chinese festivals, celebrated in Chinese communities worldwide. The date is  determined by the first day of the Chinese lunar calendar and lands between mid-January to mid-February. They made a loud explosive sound. I stocked up on ingredients, red lanterns and colorful signs at the Asian grocery store. When things got a little untidy during the first five days, household debris was carefully swept and kept in a corner. The Chinese New Year falls on Tuesday, February 5. Decorations are usually bright red. In this mythological account, long, long ago, there lived, high in the mountains, a ferocious, carnivorous monster. On the far side sits a man upon a sampan. These days, I am told, young ladies write their mobile phone numbers on the oranges. Some people consider lighting fires and using knives on the first day to be bad luck. They are most compatible with a goat, tiger and rabbit, and least with a monkey or snake. Many rituals are performed to signify a new start. Half a century ago, I remember a school textbook. "And the amount of money doesn't have to be a lot. A person's Chinese zodiac sign is determined by their birth year. [Part 2]. Instead, their New Year celebrations, otherwise called the Spring Festival, usually come after the year starts, generally between the 21st of January and the 20th of February. This fierce and cruel creature eats livestock and children, but it is scared of the color red, along with fire and noise, according to Reader's Digest. For a while, I didn't understand why. A solstice which occurs when the Earth’s axis is tilted away from the Sun. Chinese New Year kicks off on January 25th with a 15-day festival celebrating China’s most important holiday. I have often noticed Chinese friends exhibiting a  strong disinclination to sweep their homes during the celebrations. This year I'm in a new city, and I'll probably just have a quiet Chinese dinner at home with my boyfriend. The tradition may have come from the story of the Nian. Family members gather at the home of the most senior member of the clan for an elaborate meal. The final days are spent preparing for the Lantern Festival, which falls on the 15th day of the new year. On this day people return to work. Under ‘Chinese New Year’, were captioned the words Chap Goh Mei. On the Fifteenth Day is the Lantern Festival (“Yuanxiao Festival”). Do Essential Services Workers need to be paid ‘double-pay’? In my mid-20s, I started hosting a Chinese New Year dinner with friends in Phoenix. Everyone wears new clothing with at least one thing that's red. Villagers banded together to prepare their defences; and lay in wait. "The Chinese New Year falls on the first day of the first month in the lunar calendar," Jianguo Chen, associate professor of Chinese at the University of Delaware, told Live Science. In fact, Chinese New Year celebrations take place in New York, London, Vancouver, Sydney and other overseas cities. The reason we speak of all of this astronomical mumbo jumbo is because it is related to the second reason why Chinese New Year is celebrated. It's a national holiday and many people receive multiple days off, as most businesses are closed, similar to Christmas in the west. How did it become such a pivotal event? It thus became the principal duty of the  Chinese monarch to fix the date of the Winter Solstice day. The next year, I enlisted help. This was because no commerce moved on the first fortnight of the holiday season – except for pre-determined days. It never returned. A lion dance troupe goes about town. "The Spring Festival is the most important holiday in China and is celebrated as such," Chen said. Two youths make up the body of the dragon. The word for fish in Chinese is pronounced the same as the word for "extra" or "surplus," so eating fish will help bring abundance for the new year. This word was found in oracle bone inscriptions along with astronomical records during the 14th century BC, dating to the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BCE). Live Science is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Employees have seven to 12 days off from work, and students have one month of winter vacation. Chinese New Year celebrations would not be complete without them. Chinese New Year is one of several lunar new years celebrated in Asia. "One of the most interesting holiday entertainment programs organized by CCTV (China Central Television) over the past three decades is the CCTV Chinese New Year's Gala, which is typically a 5-hour long evening holiday entertainment program, featuring a variety show of drama, dance, music and comedy," Chen said. The villagers lived in fear. They feature poetry about spring, renewal, luck or success. It is an important custom to set off firecrackers and fireworks during the Chinese New Year period. Before the new year comes, it is customary for people to completely clean their houses to get rid of bad fortune from the old year and decorate their tidy houses, all with an atmosphere of rejoicing and celebration. On the second day, married daughters visit their parents and relatives. The Chinese New Year falls on Tuesday, February 5. This year it will occur on 22 December, 2019, at 04:19 UTC. What's the first species humans drove to extinction? Another important aspect of Chinese New Year is the Chinese zodiac. Scholars in astronomy, fixed and predicted the date of the Winter Solstice. This year could be the 3,80oth  time Chinese New Year is being celebrated; probably more, some historians say. By the end of the first week, many residents begin returning to work. But I knew only one of the celebrations involved receiving red envelopes filled with money from my mom. The sole purpose of having a calendar, historians find, was to keep track of time to help agriculture. "Broadcast worldwide, the gala attracts a yearly viewership of over 800 million viewers. Wearing new clothes, particularly in red. Follow her on Twitter: @KellieHwang. The Shang Dynasty ruled in the Yangtze-kiang valley between 1600 and 1046 BCE.2William G. Boltz, Early Chinese Writing, World Archaeology, Vol. My mom told me that back in Taiwan, my grandmother would have her and her siblings start cleaning the house a week early. 17, No. We would fire up the propane-powered pot that sat at the center of the dining table. NY 10036. Bamboos were cut and thrown into the fire. In the Northern Hemisphere, the last Winter Solstice occurred 21 December, 2018 at 22:22 UTC. It was called English Comprehension. Scrolls with black or gold characters, traditionally written by a calligrapher, are hung on the front door. While I wasn't with my actual family, they definitely came close. Chinese New Year's day is the big celebration with firecrackers and tables filled with foods. In the Gregorian calendar, the first day of the festival occurs on the new moon between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20. Over thousands of years of practice, this day was celebrated as the Chinese New Year (農曆新年, Nónglì Xīnnían); or the Lunar New Year. As I grew older, I learned more about the significance of Chinese New Year, including why I got red envelopes filled with money, what the Chinese zodiac animals represent, and the symbolism of the food. On the night of Chinese New Year, we ate another big meal, and steamed whole fish was front and center. Homes are often decorated with couplets — vertical banners featuring two lines of poetry — folk painting, paper cuttings that feature intricate designs (similar to cutouts of paper snowflakes), festive scrolls and lanterns. My favorite part of Chinese New Year growing up was receiving red envelopes. The first reported fragments of history indicate that the Xia Dynasty ruled China between c. 2070 to c. 1600 BC.1 Sima Qian, the Chinese historian in Records of the Grand Historian, and the Bamboo Annals. It was stressful, and I never got a chance to sit down and talk. An organization similar to a homeowner association would come by and inspect the homes, and if it wasn't clean enough, a sign would be posted out front. The solar year 2018 is the 35th year of the 60-year cycle of the lunar calendar and is referred to as the Year of the Wu-Xu Dog.". The answer dates back centuries. They exhibit their martial prowess to the lively beat of the Chinese drum and the cymbals. The 2018 Chinese New Year holiday begins on Feb. 16, Princeton University: The Spirits of Chinese Religion, East Asian Institute at Columbia University: The Lunar New Year: Rituals and Legends, These could be the funniest animal pictures ever, Drone warns surfer of very close encounter with 5-foot shark in Australia, Female moles grow testicles to fight through their brutal underground existence, 1,200-year-old pagan temple to Thor and Odin unearthed in Norway. Tables at Chinese New Year celebrations are filled with lucky foods, each representing something you hope for in the new year: whole fish and sticky rice cake for prosperity, noodles for long life, dumplings for good fortune, chicken for family togetherness, and "golden" citrus fruits, which represent wealth. The Chinese lunar calendar is similar to the western Farmer’s Almanac. Will Malaysia’s ratification of ICERD injure Malay Rights? "The children get to spend their lucky money however they want.". Although it occurs in the winter, it is called the Spring Festival or the "start of spring," marking the end of the coldest part of winter, when the Chinese traditionally look forward to the beginning of spring. This year it falls on Feb. 5. "On Chinese New Year's Eve, all family members will try their very best to travel back home, no matter how far away they may be (even on the other side of the world) to enjoy the family reunion feast known as nián yè fàn.". This is also known as sidereal time. My mom was in charge, refilling the soup and making sure we cooked things at the right time. "It's very similar to the New Year on January 1 ... but it's also called the Spring Festival, which marks the transition from barren coldness to when everything is thriving.".

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