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The Meaning Behind Chinese New Year

image of dragon for chinese new year in macau

What is the meaning behind Chinese New Year?

The Chinese New Year marks the turn of the Chinese calendar, which typically falls between late January and mid February. Also known as the Spring Festival, Chinese New Year is a traditional holiday. It is celebrated from Chinese New Year’s Eve to the Lantern Festival,  on the 15th day of the first month. The festival is the longest in the Chinese calendar and considered a major holiday for Chinese families.

Whilst Chinese New Year is centuries old, the holiday is still significant for Chinese families. The legacy of ancient myths and traditions is still taken quite seriously in some Chinese families. The festival was originally instilled, and still celebrated today, as a time to honour ancestors and deities.

Nian: A Chinese Legend

Perhaps the most interesting legend of the Chinese New Year is Nian, a mythical beast said to appear on the first day of the new year to consume crops, livestock and children. Villagers would put offerings in front of their homes to protect their families from the beast. This was the original intent of Chinese New Year and laid the groundwork for the celebrations we know today.

Where Is Chinese New Mostly Celebrated?

The Chinese New Year is celebrated in areas with dense Chinese populations, including Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Thailand, the Philippines, Hong Kong Macau and Mainland China. Cities in other countries celebrate the Chinese New Year as well. Notable cities with with large Chinese villages are New York, San Francisco, Boston, Toronto and Vancouver.

Customs and Traditions

Specific Chinese New Year customs and traditions vary widely within China’s different regions. Most families gather for an annual dinner on Chinese New Year’s Eve called Nian Ye Fan. Many families conduct a thorough cleaning of their homes to banish bad fortune and prepare for the New Year’s blessings. Families also dress their doors and windows in decorations that embrace happiness, wealth and good fortune because they believe in spiritual energies.

Chinese children enjoy lighting firecrackers to kick off a new year and often receive red envelopes filled with money. Generally, money gifts are often given to suppress the challenges associated with growing a year older.

And What About the Food?

Food plays a large role in Chinese New Year celebrations, and families relish the opportunity to prepare traditional dishes to be shared with friends and family. Meat, mainly pork and chicken, is plentiful. Other imporant foods are mandarins, oranges, leeks, noodles, taro cakes, seeds and sweets.

Furthermore, many families take a new family portrait during the Chinese New Year when all the relatives are gathered for celebrations. This photograph is usually taken in front of the family’s home, and the eldest male typically sits in the center of his family.

Repel Evil Spirits

Red is a popular colour seen during New Year celebrations, especially in decorations but also in clothing. Therefore many Chinese use red a lot in clothing and in their homes. Besides, it is still believed that the colour red repelled evil spirits, bad fortune and even the beast Nian. Some people choose to wear new items of clothing from head to toe during celebrations, aiming to show off their wealth and social status.

Chinese New Year in a Nutshell!

Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, holds immense cultural significance across East Asia. It marks the beginning of the lunar calendar and typically falls between January 21st and February 20th. During this festive season, families come together, exchange gifts, and participate in various customs and rituals.

Feng shui, an ancient Chinese practice, plays a pivotal role during Chinese New Year. It involves harmonizing people with their environments by optimizing energy flow and strategic placement. To enhance positive energy in your home, focus on specific areas—such as the east and southeast—where incorporating dragon symbols, red accents, and decluttering can invite prosperity and auspicious vibes. 🐉🏮

Are you curious about what the Chinese New Year has in store for you? Give us a call here at Absolute Soul Secrets for a psychic reading to find out. You can get an accurate reading from one of our genuine psychics here.

Rose Smith
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