12 May Chinese New Year Festival
Chinese new year – 2017 Year of the Rooster
The Chinese New Year is a traditional Chinese holiday and also known as Spring Festival. The Chinese New Year is celebrated between the 21st of January and the 21st of February as the New Year falls on the first day of the new moon. Therefore, it starts with the new moon of the first month of the New Near. The festival goes on for a period of 15 days and ends with a lantern festival.
This year, the festivities will start on the 28th of January. The fortunate and lucky symbol is the rooster in 2014.
The Chinese New Year brings along some rituals that are part of the tradition. First of all, every family thoroughly cleans the house in order to sweep away any bad fortune and to make way for incoming luck. Additionally windows and doors will be opened up bring in good fortune. Moreover, lights in the house will be lightened to lead the good spirits a way inside and to scare off the bad ones.
Throughout the New Year celebration you should not buy any new shoes as the Chinese word for “shoe” is similar to the word that stands for bad, evil and unhealthy. Also, another way to prevent from bad luck is to avoid a hair cut during the celebration period. The Chinese word for hair is the same one as it is for “luck”, therefore you would cut off your good luck for the rest of the year.
The colour “red” takes on a significant role throughout the Spring Festival. Windows and doors will be decorated with red color paper-cuts and couplets that will bring good fortune or happiness, wealth and longevity. Furthermore, red paper envelopes are handed out to kids for the good fortune of wealth.
For Chinese families, the New Years festivities are one of the most important celebrations of the year as it often is the occasion for the families to get together for the annual reunion dinner and to celebrate together.
The Chinese New Year is welcomed with an overwhelming firework that is ongoing until the early morning. In the streets you will find colorful parades with huge Chinese dragon heads accompanied by breathtaking acrobats with various costumes. The so called Dragon Parades are supposed to banish evil spirits.
At the end of the Chinese New Year the Lantern Festival is held. Families get together again and traditional dances, like the lion-dance or the drum-dance, are performed. The night of the lantern festival is the first night of full moon in the new lunar year. Fireworks are lit and children prepare lanterns made of silk, paper or plastic which are decorated in a very complex and colorful way. Very popular in the design of the lanterns are animals such as birds, dragons or the lucky symbol of the year. Families hang the lanterns in front of their houses and later that night they join everyone else on the streets to admire the lanterns of the others.