Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is a major holiday, not just in China but throughout Asia. The date changes each year and always falls between January 21st and February 20th, as determined by the Chinese lunar calendar. Although Tuesday, February 05th is the actual date, China’s public holiday is from February 04th through the 10th.
This also happens to be the year of the Pig which occupies the twelfth position in the Chinese zodiac. If you were born in the years 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995 and 2007, you may be interested in the following bits of trivia. Lucky numbers are 2, 5 and 8. Lucky colours are yellow, gray, brown and gold. Lucky flowers include hydrangea and daisies. Unlucky numbers are 1 and 7 and unlucky colours are red, blue and green.
Those born in the year of the Pig are considered diligent, compassionate and generous. Though they rarely seek help from others, they are always willing to lend a hand. Also, they will have very good financial prospects in 2019. Famous people born in the year include Henry Ford (founder of the Ford Motor Company), Ronald Reagan (40th President of the United States) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (former Governor of California).
Traditional activities include home decorating and enjoying a reunion dinner with family on New Year’s Eve, considered the most important meal of the year. Red envelopes are the most common New Year’s gift. Filled with money, they are believed to bring good luck and are given to children and retirees. Young people prefer to receive their red envelopes electronically! It is also a tradition to set off firecrackers from the first minute of a New Year. Traditional performances such as dragon and lion dances take place in city parks. Every street, building and house where the Spring Festival is celebrated is decorated with red, believed to be an auspicious colour. Decorations related to pigs will also be common.
Chinese people traditionally believe that the start of one’s year can affect the whole year, so the Spring Festival is a season of superstitions. Certain taboos include no hair washing as it can wash away good fortune, no sweeping as it can sweep away good luck and no lending or borrowing money as it may lead to debt.
Over two hundred million mainland Chinese travel long distances to celebrate this holiday with family.
If you or someone you know is celebrating their New Year on February 05th, you may want to say in Mandarin ‘gongxi facai’ (pronounced gone-sshee faa-tseye) or ‘kung hei fat choi’ in Cantonese.