I just want to wish all my viewers a Happy Chinese New Year. I you plan on living in an Asian country get used to celebrations! And in this case ANOTHER New Year even if you aren’t Chinese or of Chinese descent. So let me get you up to speed on the goings on around this holiday.
This year Chinese New Year 2016 is on Monday 8 February. The date of Chinese New Year is based on the Chinese lunar calendar, not the Gregorian calendar, but is always somewhere in the period from January 21 to February 20.
2016 is a year of the Monkey according to the Chinese 12-year animal zodiac cycle. Other Monkey years include: …1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004… If you were born then you’re a Monkey. Each Chinese zodiac year begins on Chinese New Year’s Day.
Monkey years are believed to be the most unlucky for people born in a year of the Monkey.
You might be asking, “Why do people celebrate Chinese New Year?” Although there are many interesting legends and stories explaining the start of the Chinese New Year festival, the main two reasons for the festival are:
1. To celebrate a year of hard work, have a good rest, and relax with family
2. To wish for a lucky and prosperous coming year
Chinese people believe that a good start to the year will lead to a lucky year. Chinese traditionally celebrated the start of a new year of farm work, and wished for a good harvest (when most were farmers). This has now evolved to celebrating the start of a new business year and wishing for profits and success in various vocations.
So how do the Chinese celebrate thier New Year? The main traditional celebrations of the festival include eating reunion dinner with family, giving red envelopes, firecrackers, new clothes, and decorations. More modern celebrations include watching the CCTV Gala, instant message greetings, and cyber money gifts.
Some Chinese superstitions regarding Cinese New Year and things NOT to do include:
1. Some Chinese people believe that they mustn’t do cleaning or wash their hair in the first three days as that will sweep/wash away good luck.
2. A cry of a child is believed to bring bad luck to the family, so the young are placated fastidiously.
3. No begging: To ask for a loan is a big “no-no”.
4. Another interesting thing is the red underwear…
You will see red underwear sold at supermarkets and street markets. Red is believed to ward off bad luck and misfortune. For people born in a year of the Monkey, red underwear is a must for 2016!
So I hope you get the opportunity to join in and wish your friends Happy Chinese New Year!
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Posted In: festivals, Fun Stuff to Do, JC Commentary, Social Aspects, Thailand
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