The Lunar New Year is one of China’s most celebrated holidays, so in this blog we will be taking a look at the history of the Chinese New year and some of the traditions that take place…

Lunar year

The Lunar Year

In the west, we use the Gregorian Calendar, which was named after Pope Gregory XIII, who introduced it in 1582. It is a solar calendar, which means the dates are set against one of the Earth’s orbits around the sun.

The Chinese calendar, on the other hand, is a Lunisolar Calendar, which combines the lunar and solar types. While day-to-day the Gregorian Calendar is used, when it comes to important celebrations like Chinese New Year, the date depends on the traditional lunisolar type.

What year is it?

There are 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac and each has a year named after it. However, unlike western astrology, this zodiac has nothing to do with star constellations. There are many tales explaining why these animals were chosen to represent the zodiac and in the order that they are listed in.

2022 marks the Year of the Tiger, and it is often said that people have the traits of the animal whose year they were born in. In Chinese culture, people born in the Year of the Tiger are born leaders and are courageous and energetic. They also love a challenge and are prepared to take risks. They can also be rebellious, short-tempered and outspoken! 

Preparing for Chinese New Year

One of the most important preparations for Chinese New Year is preparing the home by ensuring it is bright and spotless for the year ahead. The festival is seen as a time when good luck enters the home and by cleaning it beforehand you are getting rid of any ill fortune that surrounds you.

After this is done all brooms are stored safely away so that no luck can be accidentally swept out of the door. Paper decorations are then hung and some homeowners even add a fresh layer of red paint to their door and window frames. After all that hard work, on the eve of the new year families sit down to a Reunion Dinner, which is the equivalent of Christmas Dinner in the west.

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year celebrations

Chinese New Year is the most important holiday on the calendar and is also known as the Spring Festival. It’s not just celebrated in China either, but also in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong and probably near you too, as Chinatowns across the globe often get involved. Letting off fireworks and firecrackers is a popular custom and the day is spent sharing greetings and blessings with neighbours. The noise from the fireworks and firecrackers also helps to scare the evil spirits away whilst the good luck settles in. Cleaning and sweeping are forbidden on this day or else the good fortune will be swept away.

Lantern Festival

What’s next?

Chinese New Year lasts several days and each day has its own traditions. For example, the second day would traditionally be when married daughters would visit their parents and siblings. There are also plenty more exciting events that take place in China such as the Lantern Festival. 

We would like to wish everyone a Happy Lunar New Year and we hope this year is filled with good fortune for you all!