Chinese New Year
22nd January 2023, Year of the Rabbit
Happy New Year, 新年快乐, xīn nián kuài lè
January 22nd marks Chinese New Year, a holiday that is celebrated by 20% of the global population. Also known as the Spring Festival, it marks the end of the cooler months, taking place between 21st January and 20th February, lasting for 16 days.
Chinese New Year Traditions
Chinese New Year involves a lot of traditions involving decorations, food, and customs which symbolise blessings and good fortunes. Traditionally, it is a time spent with family (usually visiting elders of the husband’s side first), and large feasts are prepared particularly on New Year’s Eve which is considered a time for family reunion. Feasts are seen as offering to the gods and blessings for the New Year where ingredients’ names and appearances can symbolise good fortune.
Fireworks are set off at night and in the morning. According to the myth, night fireworks scare off monsters and bad luck, particularly the monster Nian (年) who was a monster that lived at the bottom of the sea. Once a year, he would scare people into mountains out of fear of eating them and their livestock. However, people soon realised that loud noises and the colour red scared off the monster and so began to fill their homes with red decorations and set off fireworks. And speaking of red, elders will give children red envelopes that contain money. It can be given to friends as well and now digitally. It is known as New Year money, carrying the hope of good fortune.
Year of the Rabbit
2023 marks the year of the Rabbit and unfortunately, if this is your zodiac, it means a year of bad luck. Rabbits are seen to have pure characteristics and are extremely kind. They are the fourth animal out of the zodiac. The legend is that Jade Emperor told the animals that the order of the zodiacs will be determined by which of the animals would arrive at his party. The Rabbit was confident of his speed so he decided to have a nap. By the time he woke up and went to the party, three other animals had already arrived before him. For any Rabbits out there, there is more information on how your 2023 will be at ChineseNewYear.net
Read more about New Year traditions in our post on Scottish New Year traditions
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Image source by Jason Leung