Chinese New Year or Lunar
New Year is the biggest Holiday of the year for a quarter of the world’s population,
and is celebrated not only in China but also in other countries like East Asia.
The start of the New Year is determined by a complicated calculations but in most cases, the Spring Day is the day of the New Moon which is the closest to the 4th of February of the European Calendar. This means that the Spring Holiday is always between 21st of January and 21st of February. In practice, Chinese people know the exact date from official calendars when to celebrate their biggest holiday in the given year.
Preparation before the holiday begin weeks earlier. The most important – except for the unusual things like shopping, baking, and cooking – is to do the chore around the house and clean it from the last year’s harms. They sweep out the house and if it is possible they blow it out. They repaint the doors and windows. It is a common belief that rubbish should always be swept inward to the center of the room and then carefully remove it from there, preferably through the back door, so that luck is not swept away with it. Breaking this rule has serious consequences for all members of the whole family.
New Years’ Eve – which is similar to the Christian sacrament – is the most important element of the holiday series. Families gather and celebrate together at the end of the year. They play with cards, watch television and have fun together. At midnight, all doors and windows must be open of the house, so the last year can leave.
New Year’s Eve includes the ”Red Pouch”. They gift it for children and single men. They put inside banknotes that must be an even number. The one who gets this gift should wait for opening as it is incivility to look inside the pouch. Red is color of abundance, fortune, wealth which is why red is the basic color for all the New Year’s decorations and the pouch.
Traditionally the New Year celebration has lasted for fifteen days, but nowadays it has been shortened. People in China usually do not get a whole week off. The illuminated days are closed by the lantern celebration.