Chinese New Year 2014
When : Friday, January 31
Chinese New Year which is also called as Spring Festival in China begins on the 23rd of the 12th lunar month of the Chinese calender, that it starts on the last day of the last month of the Chinese calender and prolongs upto fifteenth day of the first month, which is also considered as Lantern Festival. Because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year can be referred to as the “Lunar New Year”.
As a part of the new year celebrations, many people clean their homes and decorate it with various Chinese posters. They stick red posters with poetic verses on their doors and also put Chinese new year pictures on their walls. They arrange their homes with red colored lanterns. They consider the new year celebrations time as an ideal time to gather with their families and relatives.
In the spring festival eve, people do various celebration activities such as firing the crackers and gifting greeting cards etc.Children often get the luck money on that day. The fun filled celebrations also mark the events such as dragon and lion dances, beating drums, striking gongs and etc as the part of the spring festival festivities.
According to history, on the day when Shun came to the throne more than 4000 years ago, who was an ancient China’s mythological emperors, he advised his ministers to worship heaven and earth. From then onwards, that day was treated as the first day of the first lunar month in the Chinese calendar. And it is the basic origin of Chinese New year.
Chinese New Year was renamed to Spring Festival later after the adoption of Gregorian calender in 1911.
According to legends, there is a mythical beast named Nian, which would come in the first day of the new year to eat crops, livestock, even villagers, particularly children.Villagers would keep the food infront of the doors at the beginning of the year and it was believed after eating the food, it won’t attack them. But one day people observed watching Nian afraid of the red color weared by a small kid. Then the villagers understood that the Nian is scared by red color. Since then when the new year is near, the villagers hang red lanterns and red colored spring scrolls on doors and windows.
The Spring Festival or Chinese New Year is a national holiday in China. Beginning from the Spring Festival Eve to the seventh day of the lunar month in the Chinese calendar Government offices, schools, many companies and universities are closed. How ever, some enterprises schedule shift duty for the employees. There is no difficulty in the availability of the public transport during the period of Spring Festival.
Many people stick their doors with the red posters with poetic verses on it, they were a type of amulet in the beginning but now they are treated as symbols for good fortune and joy. There are various different meanings for the various Chinese New Year symbols. For instance, fish image expresses- having more than one needs every year. And the festival lantern symbolizes – pursuing the beautiful and bright. A firecracker symbol represents – good luck in the coming year, like wise there are many symbols.