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11 Interesting Chinese New Year Facts

LIFESTYLE | Published on 28/01/2022
Optimizada chinese new year facts

While most of the world rings in the new year at midnight on December 31, Chinese traditions are a little different and based on ancient practices and the Chinese lunar calendar. While most people know they celebrate on a different day, there are always new Chinese New Year facts to learn, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get to attend a Chinese New Year celebration in person.

1. Chinese New Year occurs with the first full moon

The celebration is based on the Chinese lunar calendar, so each year, the date shifts to align with the first full moon of the year. Chinese New Year 2022 will be on February 1.

2. The Chinese lunar calendar still determines many holidays and events

While the country uses the Gregorian calendar like most of the world, the lunar calendar marks holidays, and its auspicious dates are used to determine when to get married, move, or start a business.

3. Chinese New Year began around 3,500 years ago

While the true Chinese New Year origin is lost to the past, scholars know it began during the Shang Dynasty between 1600 and 1046 BC. One of the important Chinese New Year facts is that it started as a time for sacrificial ceremonies to honor gods and ancestors at the end of the year.

4. According to Chinese New Year origin legends, the celebration started to scare off a monster named Nian

This lion-like creature was raiding villages and eating their crops, but when a wise man discovered that Nian was scared by firecrackers and the color red, the villages were safe. Firecrackers and red decorations are still an important part of the Chinese New Year celebration.

5. Chinese New Year uses more fireworks than any other celebration in the world

This is one of the Chinese New Year facts that reflect the story of Nian, and in many cities, you’ll hear firecrackers in the days leading up to the new year.

6. The celebrations last 16 days, and it’s known as the Spring Festival

The Chinese New Year celebration begins on the first new moon and lasts through the full moon. During this time, people get a break from work and school to celebrate.

7. The Spring Festival is a busy time for travel

It’s estimated that 200 million people in China will travel long distances to see their families for the holiday, and with time off school and work, it’s a time for vacations too.

8. Each year aligns with an animal on the Zodiac calendar

One of the fun facts about Chinese New Year is that these animals give certain characteristics to the year and the people born that year. Chinese New Year 2022 will begin the Year of the Tiger.

9. People eat lucky foods on New Year's Eve

Noodles represent longevity, fish are for abundance, and dumplings symbolize wealth. These fun facts about Chinese New Year create delicious meals.

10. Friends and families exchange red envelopes

Most holidays involve some form of gift giving, and the red envelopes reflect the Chinese New Year origin myth about Nian. The amount of money always varies, and today, friends and family also exchange envelopes electronically.

11. All cleaning is done the day before

During the Spring Festival, families sweep the bad luck out of their homes and get all their cleaning done. Cleaning on the first day of the year will wash away all the good luck.

Knowing a few fun facts about Chinese New Year helps you understand why their celebration is unique and how it's based on long-standing traditions. As Chinese New Year 2022 approaches, be sure to wish others good luck, and consider learning a traditional Chinese recipe to celebrate. 

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