At ‘Let’s Go Punting’, we highly appreciate our Chinese guests and partners. As the longest Chinese holiday, Chinese New Year is just around the corner (25th January 2020), we looked up some of the most interesting facts about this fantastic celebration.
1. They call Chinese New Year ‘The Spring Festival’
In China, they call Chinese New Year ‘chunjie’ (春节), or in other words, the Spring Festival. Although it’s still very cold, this holiday marks the end of the coldest days of the winter. Hence why people welcome spring together with the new beginnings and of course, the new year.
People in China also call Chinese New Year the ‘Lunar New Year’, because its date is set according to the Lunar Calendar.
2. There’s no set date for Chinese New Year
According to the Lunar calendar, the Spring Festival starts on January 1st and lasts until the full moon (15 days).
In 2020, Chinese New Year will take place on Saturday, 25th January.
The Lunar Calendar is still very important in China, even though they officially use the Gregorian calendar today. However, they celebrate all the traditional holidays according to the Lunar Calendar, and some people still calculate their birthdays this way too.
3. People pray to their gods
Chinese New Year was originally a ceremonial day for people to pray to their gods for a good planting and harvest season. People also pray to their ancestors, as they are considered to be their gods.
4. People use firecrackers to scare monsters
According to the legend, a monster named Nian (年) used to take a visit on every New Year’s Eve in China’s villages, towns and cities. Most people were very scared and would hide in their homes. However, one day, a brave boy defeated him with using firecrackers. The following day, people celebrated the victory by setting off even more firecrackers. Hence why using firecrackers became an important tradition.
5. The most fireworks are set off in the world this day
Similarly to the story of Nian, people use firecrackers to scare monsters as well as bad luck. Therefore they use firecrackers twice: first of all, they stay up on New Year’s Eve and use them at midnight. Finally, in the morning, they set them off in order to welcome the new year and good luck.
The same night, families also burn fake paper money and printed gold bars to honour their deceased loved ones. Similarly to the Mexican Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos) traditions, they believe that these offerings will bring fortune and good luck to their ancestors in the afterlife.
We hope you enjoyed reading this blog post and that you learned some interesting info about the Chinese New Year.
Happy New Year to all of our lovely Chinese guests and partners!
If you wanted to go punting in 2020, click here to book.