As you may know, Chinese New Year falls on February 1st this year. But, why isn't Chinese New Year (also called "Lunar New Year") celebrated on December 31st, you ask...Well, this celebration follows the Chinese lunisolar calendar, which is based on the cycles of the moon as opposed to the Gregorian calendar.
The red lantern decorations, firecrackers and the lion dance in Chinatown during Chinese New Year are a millennia-long tradition that involves a myriad of customs, superstitions, and rituals to attract luck and fortune for the New Year. Some of these traditions include:
- A family banquet on the Eve of Chinese New Year: This day is the perfect occasion to gather families and friends together and share traditional and delicious dishes
- Decorating your home in red and adding some fresh flowers on New Year's Eve. Red is believed to ward off evil, negativity and bad luck
- Bathing in water infused with pomelo leaves on New Year's Eve to wash away the bad luck and bring prosperity
- Gifting red envelopes with money to children, seniors and the unmarried. When someone receives a red envelope, it is tradition to keep the envelope under their pillow and unopened until the next day
- Eating "auspicious" foods such as dumplings, rice cakes, fish or dishes containing fat choi (black moss), etc.
- Wearing new clothes (especially red clothing) to receive the New Year and leave old things behind. A good take on "out with the old, in with the new"
There are also things considered to be big no-nos for the first three days of the New Year, such as no cleaning or sweeping the house or taking out the trash during the first three days of the New Year, as you would be wiping away all the luck! Also, all sharp objects, like scissors, cannot be used as the good fortune will be cut off. Finally, it is bad luck to mention negative words like "death", "sickness" or "pain".
Why don't you put these traditions into practice? This might be an auspicious way to kickstart your year!
2022 is the Year of the Tiger, the king of all beasts. It symbolizes strength, braveness and even exorcises evil! To kickstart the Year of the Tiger, keep your eyes peeled for some roaring styles in Woozworld!
Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái!/Gong Hey Fat Choy!