Chinese New year 2020 starts in January
The Chinese New Year known as the "Spring Festival" is celebrated on Saturday, January 25, 2020. Thus begins the year 4,718 of the traditional Chinese calendar, which corresponds to the year of the Rat.
It is the most important celebration in China, with a period of 15 days comprising:
• New Year's Day (January 25, 2020): first day of the first month of the lunar calendar.
• Lantern Festival (February 8, 2020): fifteenth day of the first month.
They are 15 days full of celebrations in which family visits, special meals, concerts, parades and fireworks follow one another. Everyone celebrates the new year, especially during the first three days of the festival.
As in all Chinese festivities they are usually accompanied by typical cuisine. The dishes prepared for this occasion are considered "symbols of good luck."
There are also many cultural activities during the days of the festival. Traditional celebrations that are accompanied by firecrackers, ancestor worship and dragon dances. Dragons and parades take center of cities, not only from China but from the main cities of the world. Abroad there are many activities related to Chinese traditions.
New Year's Eve dinner, known as the reunion dinner, is the most important meal of the whole year. It is comparable to Christmas dinner for Christians.
A great meal is shared in which you can not miss the traditional "ravioli" (shoumian), which represent longevity. This dinner lasts until midnight, when the countdown to the new year begins.
The Chinese calendar is different from the one we use (Gregorian calendar). It is based on the lunar cycles while the western one is marked by the solar cycle. In ancient times, the "lunar calendar" caused serious problems for Chinese farmers, due to the difficulty of setting the seasons for crops.
• In the houses they are decorated with the "Fish" to attract abundance and, if it is also red it also serves to scare away the "Nian" (the beast). "The Guardians" stand at the gates to defend those who live within the presence of evil spirits.
• To receive the "Spring Festival" people clean their houses with old brooms, which are then thrown away. Red posters hang with poetic verses on their doors, decorating the walls with pictures of the Chinese New Year and red lanterns.
• On these dates fireworks and firecrackers are launched, hoping to ward off bad luck and attract prosperity. It is an ancient and beautiful custom that dates from the imperial era.
• Being a national holiday, most employees in China do not work for 7 days.
• Children receive money from their relatives, and it is tradition to close the pending tasks for the New Year, so it is important to pay debts.
• In mainland China it is customary to watch the New Year Gala on CCTV television. An official program that features shows of traditional music, pop-rock, dances, humor, magic and the speech of the president of the People's Republic of China.
• Previously marriages always went to the husband's house. Today there are frequent disputes about "which house to go to the festival". It is something very serious, that generated some divorces for this reason.
• The origin of the Spring Festival dates back more than 4,000 years ago, when the population made sacrifices to the deities to ask for a good harvest.
• The Chinese Dragon is one of the emblems of the country, which symbolizes wisdom, culture and wealth. The typical day of the festival is celebrated on the streets the typical Dragon Dance. The porters support the Dragon on some wooden posts that raise and lower, pretending that the Dragon is dancing as it progresses.
• On New Year's Eve, on January 24, 2020, those who live outside the home make a great effort to get home to be at the "reunion dinner". For that reason, public transport tends to be sad during these dates. You have to keep it in mind if you are traveling in China, that day the traffic is chaotic.
• If you want to wish someone a happy year, you can do the “bainian greeting”. For that, they join hands by closing our right fist and holding it with the left to move it back and forth, while saying "Gongxi Gongxi" (congratulations).
• If you are interested in Chinese culture, its customs and celebrations we encourage you to check the calendar of parties in China.