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Fun Facts About Chinese New Year

4 January 2020

#1 2020 – A YEAR OF THE RAT
Chinese New Year is celebrated by more than 20% of the world. It’s the most important holiday in China and to Chinese people all over. Since ancient times, Chinese people have been using the Chinese Zodiac animals to represent the years. Each lunar year is related to a zodiac animal, beginning at Chinese New Year. The 12 zodiac animals recur on a 12-year cycle. 2020 is the year of the Rat starting from Jan.25, 2020 (Chinese Lunar Near Year) and lasting to Feb. 11, 2021. The Rat is the 1st animal of the Chinese zodiac and in the Chinese culture, In Chinese culture, rats were seen as a sign of wealth and surplus. Because of their reproduction rate, married couples also prayed to them for children.

#2 THE END OF THE COLDEST WINTER DAYS
The Chinese New Year Holiday marks marks the end of the coldest Winter days. People welcome spring and what it brings along: planting and harvests, new beginnings and fresh starts.

#3 DUMPLINGS FOR EVERY MEAL
Most people will eat dumplings during the New Year’s Eve dinner. Others will eat them for the first breakfast. Chinese believe that eating dumplings will bring prosperity in the coming year.

#4 RED ENVELOPES EVERYWHERE
An often-observed tradition during Spring Festival is to give gifts of red envelopes containing money. The color red symbolizes energy and fortune. New bills are expected; old, wrinkled cash is a sign of laziness. People sometimes walk around with cash-stuffed envelopes in case they run into someone they need to give a gift to. If someone offers you an envelope, it’s best to accept it with both hands and open it in private.

#5 RED FIREWORKS & FIRECRACKERS
Chinese New Year is a happy and lively festival, so for Chinese people lots of noise is a must to heighten the festival atmosphere, and firecrackers and fireworks are the cultural way to do it. In ancient times, it was believed that the explosive sound of firecrackers scared away evil spirits, who might otherwise bring bad luck. Nowadays, people set off firecrackers and fireworks during the spring festival to express their happiness, and invite good luck.

#6 RED COLORFUL CLOTHES
The red, colorful clothes favored for the holiday symbolize good fortune. When buying clothes for Chinese New Year, go for red. This is the best color for the occasion. Stay away from black and white, as they are unlucky and negative. In China, both black and white apparel is traditionally associated with mourning and are to be avoided during the Lunar month.

#7 ASIA’S LARGEST TRAVEL RUSH
Billions of trips are taken over the six-week Chinese New Year period. Chinese New Year is yearly the world’s largest seasonal migration of people. The holiday is celebrated by millions of people of Chinese descent all over the world.

#8 GONG XI FA CAI
“Gong hei fat choy” is the most common Chinese New Year greeting in Cantonese, which is spoken in parts of southern China and Hong Kong. It directly translates to “wishing you great happiness and prosperity.” In Mandarin, the same greeting is “gong xi fa cai” (pronounced gong she fa tsai).

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