Lunar New Year is here
Updated: Jan 31
Lunar New Year is mostly celebrated in Asia, but you can also see red dragons flying across the CBU campus. Since it’s based on the Lunar Calendar, the date is different every year. 2022 is the year of tiger and celebration starts from 1st of February and ends on February 11th. But what else do we know about taboos, traditions and gifts. Let me guide you!
What is Lunar New Year?
It’s celebration of the New Year according to the lunar calendar which has 354 days. Each year represents an astrological sign and repeat in cycles of 12 years. The celebrations last up to 16 days and are called: Little Year (Jan 24th-31st), Spring Festival (Feb 1st-11th) and Lantern Festival (Feb 12th-15th).
What people give each other?
Presents are usually red and have the sign of the year. Red color symbolizes success, happiness, vitality, beauty and good luck. The most common things to give are tea, fruit baskets, alcohol and clothes.
What people don’t do
The New Year celebration is the period of joy and happiness and there are several rules people follow without saying.
1) Do not say negative words like death, sick, ghost, etc.
2) Do not break ceramics or glass as it breaks your connection with prosperity in the future
3) Do not clean during the Spring festival as it may sweep away good luck
4) Do not use sharp objects to keep the stream of wealth
5) Do not visit wife’s family as it’s taken like marriage problems
6) Do not demand debt repayment as it brings bad luck
7) Avoid fighting or crying to ensure the smooth path in the future
8) Avoid taking medicine not to be sick all year then
9) Do not wake up a person or give New Year’s blessings while they are in bed
10) Do not give clocks or splitting pears as it is as homophone of separation
What people do and why
Spring Festival was originally the day when people pray to God for flourishing and rich land. They also eat dumplings for every meal and have special desserts like tangyuan. It means “soup balls.” But it sounds like Tuan Yuan (团圆), which means reunion and is very popular as people get together with their families. New year’s reunion is called Spring Migration and you better get the tickets in advance as they can be selling with a speed of 1000 in a minute. Other dessert is Nian Gao (年糕) - a type of rice cake that symbolizes success. Fa Gao (发糕) is a the hybrid of sponge cakes and muffins and the fa is the same as in Fa Cai (发财), which means “to get rich.” The simplest decorations are words like fu – happiness and good fortune written on a red piece of paper. People also buy small tree plants like kumquats, mandarin oranges and peaches. Golden colors of the fruits represent wealth and fortune. Chinese also have different activities for each day of celebration but culmination is Lantern Festival. Tradition is to write the wishes on both sides of the lantern and let it fly hoping they come true. Another bright tradition is fireworks. firecrackers are supposed to scare off monsters and bad luck. So people stay up on Lunar New Year’s Eve and set off firecrackers at midnight. In the morning, firecrackers are used again to welcome the New Year and good luck.
Even though Lunar New Year is not popular in Canada I hope you guys enjoyed the article and learned something new!