History and background of the Chinese New Year
This celebration dates goes back to more than 3000 years. It is related to the rituals of the ancient worships since the creation of heaven and earth according to the Asian holy belief. Over the centuries, new traditions have been added and celebrations became more geared towards the entertainment.
The basis of naming the Chinese Year with different names
This occasion have several names launched by the Chinese, such as:
- Chinese new year
- Spring Festival
- Lunar New Year
- Lantern Festival
- New year night
Preparation for celebrating the Chinese New Year
The celebration begins with the first appearance of the moon between 21 Jan to 20 Feb and lasts for 15 days where there is no fixed day for the first day of the New Year, it is a public holiday and in 2018 it will celebrated on Friday, 16/02/2018.
It is also celebrated by a 12-year time cycle and each year bears the name of an animal where it starts with a mouse, bull, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, lamb, monkey, cock, dog and pig.
Countries of the celebration
China – Brunei – Taiwan – Hong Kong – Macau – Singapore – Indonesia – Malaysia – Korea – Thailand – Vietnam – Cambodia – Mauritius – Australia and the Philippines.
Traditional events for celebrating the Chinese New Year:
- Setting up and celebrating with Entertainment Programs and Carnivals Including the famous dragon and lion dance in the concerned countries who celebrate and believe in this occasion in all parts of the world.
- The establishment of banquet halls where Chinese food is cooked on this occasion and called The Imperial Banquet where the meat is prohibited on this occasion, the banquet includes the traditional fish dishes and the full fish must be eaten in the banquet, as well as Chinese dumplings, spring rolls and rice cake. Collective banquets are held everywhere, red envelopes and gifts are exchanged, new clothes are worn, carnival fireworks are used.
- Preparation for this occasion by cleaning and decorating houses very well with the prohibition of cleaning and sweeping the house on the first day of the year.
- Opening all doors and windows of the house, there is a belief that this makes all the worries and sorrows of the last year come out of the house.
- The Chinese debtor must pay all debts before the New Year’s Day and no credit is granted on the first day of the new year.
- Suspensions, congratulations and red decorations are everywhere in the house and outside, on buildings and the streets. Prayers are held in the temples loudly and red lanterns are hunged
The importance of traveling to countries that celebrate this occasion during the celebrations
The celebration period is one of the best times for traveling the concerned countries as it helps to interact with the people celebrating this occasion, take an idea about their customs and traditions and experience the local cultures and rites inherited from these peoples.
All public enterprises in China are on a seven-day holiday, but some staff work according to the their business and jobs, In 2018, the public holiday will be February 15-21. But most of the big shopping malls, touristic attractions, public transportation, hotels and restaurants are open as usual, but they stay open for as long as possible.
If the decision to travel for a vacation is taken at the same time the traveler must make full reservations before a sufficient period of time as it will very busy tourist season and it is difficult to find places for accommodation in hotels, restaurants and Air flights as well.
By Leen Aldeek