When is Chinese New Year in 2017? What is the Zodiac animal? Why aren’t the animals the same every year? How is Chinese New Year celebrated?
If you’ve got a whole heap of questions about what Chinese New Year is all about but have never found the answers you’re looking for, take a look at our top 5 interesting facts and get the low-down on what the Chinese call the “spring festival”. Xinnian Kuaile to you!
5 Interesting Facts about Chinese New Year
1 | It’s never on the same date as the year before
Unlike the Western New Year’s celebration, Chinese New Year is never celebrated on the same date two years in a row. That’s because the Chinese abide by their lunar calendar for determining what date to start, which is anytime between 21st January and 21st February. This year it falls on January 28th but next year lands on the 16th February! You can find more information about how the lunar calendar works here
2 | It’s not only celebrated in China
Although it is a CHINESE New Year, it is actually celebrated by Chinese and non-Chinese communities around the world. In fact, over one-fifth of the world’s population celebrates this winter festival and is a holiday in most Asian countries like Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
3 | Red envelopes sales sky-rocket during CNY
A lovely tradition of Chinese New Year is the exchange of red envelopes between old and young generations. Billions of envelopes are exchanged during the festival, usually with cash in them as a special CNY gift. Red envelopes are the national sign of luck, hope and positivity and suitably reinforces the good feelings experienced during the New Year celebrations.
4 | The Zodiac animal changes every 12 years
The lunar calendar splits up the year with twelve signs of the zodiac, meaning the animal changes every 12 years. This year it’s the Year of the Rooster, so the next time it will be Year of the Rooster again is in 2029! Next year it’s the Year of the Dog – get your paws at the ready!
5 | You get a full month’s holiday during CNY!
During the festival, children and adults get just over four weeks leave from school and work between 21st January and 21st February. As you can imagine, this means a LOT of people are on the move visiting relatives for the holiday. In fact, over 4% of the world’s population (over 200 million Mainland Chinese people) travel long distances to see their loved ones. With this in mind, you may want to rethink any relaxing touristy trips around Beijing until after 21st February!
Stay healthy this Chinese NY
With the unmistakable tang of oriental spices, our delicious Sweet and Sour Noodles with vegetables is a healthy option. Spice up your diet this Chinese NY!