12 Feb Fun facts about Chinese New Year
* It has been celebrated for over 3,000 years.
* It is also known by several other names:
– Lunar New Year because it follows the lunar calendar.
– Spring Festival as it starts at the beginning of Spring (Li Chun).
– Guo Nian, meaning “passing a year”.
* In a Chinese New Year story, “Nian” is a fierce and cruel monster which eats livestock and kids, but it is scared of the colour red and cracker sounds.
* Red is also the symbol of happiness, wealth and prosperity, and can ward off evil spirits and bring good luck.
* The celebration lasts until the 15th day of the new year.
* The annual largest usage of fireworks on the planet happens during this period.
* Reunion dinner on Chinese New Year’s Eve is to commemorate the past year.
* Sweeping and cleaning have to be finished by New Year’s Eve for fear of sweeping away wealth and good fortune.
* The fifth day of New Year is the birthday of the God of Wealth.
* Long noodles are often eaten as they represent longevity.
* Money in angpows must not be divisible by four as in Chinese, the number four means death.
* Giving a calendar is tradition.
* Eating pomelos and oranges is considered to bring good luck as Chinese words for oranges and tangerines sounds like ‘luck’ while pomelo sounds like ‘to have’.
* Each lunar cycle has 60 years and 12 years is regarded as a small cycle.
* Each of the 12 years is defined by an animal sign – Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.
* More than two billion people celebrate Chinese New Year.