The Chinese Lunar New Year occurs every year around January or February and lasts for about 15 days. This year, the lunar new year will start on February 5th, lasting till the 19th. The Chinese calendar goes according to the moon and each year is represented by an animal.
The usage of animals originally came from the worship of animals, but there are also many legends that tell a story of a race between the animals that were ordered by the Jade Emperor. There are twelve animals that are, in order: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. The zodiac animals repeats after twelve years, and this year is the last animal of the twelve: the pig. Each zodiac animal has their own traits, and some are more compatible with others while each has a zodiac animal it is not compatible with at all. People believe that the zodiac signs can determine your fortune, marriage, career, and many more.
On the last day, there is a huge festival celebrated called the Lantern Festival. To prepare for the Lantern Festival many children, through the celebrations, create colorful lanterns as a tradition that has been around for over 2,000 years. In the earlier years people would light lanterns as gifts and offerings for the gods to their heavenly place.
The Lantern Festival, also known as the Spring Festival, is mainly celebrated for a reunion with your family. Many people from all around the world come back to China to celebrate the new year. Not only do relatives visit their family but also their in-laws or maybe a boyfriend or girlfriend. Over many years there have been many different variations of lanterns. Different lanterns have different meanings to bring fortune to them.
There are many other activities that the Chinese do for their Lunar New Year, but before even celebrating the new year families will clean their houses, set up couplets (poems), and prepare for a great dinner feast. Foods that are normally eaten for the New Year’s celebration will each have a meaning to them. For example, fish is eaten to represent prosperity and when you eat long noodles you are not to bite them off because the noodle represents the length of your life.
Each day until the Lantern Festival, is a celebration of something. According to nationsonline.org, the first through the seventh day is the celebration of birthdays from the different zodiac animals. The eighth day is a completion day of reunion and praying to the Jade Emperor, and the ninth day is celebrating the Jade Emperor’s birthday. The tenth through the twelfth day is feasting, but the thirteenth day is to rest and and eat things that’ll help your dignstive system. The fourteenth day is the preparation day for the Lantern Festival, and last, but not least, the fifteenth day is the Lantern Festival celebration.