Since the 14th century BCE, Chinese New Year is a 15-day celebration that begins on the first new moon of the year and ends on the full moon, which is the lantern festival. Because it is based off the lunar cycle, it does not have a set date and it usually falls between January 21 and February 20th. The Chinese New Year was traditionally when people counted their birthday. No matter if you were born yesterday, on new year’s you are now one years old.
Legends say that the reason for the new year’s loud celebration was to ward of a spirit named Nian (which means year) from destroying villages. The spirit was afraid of lights, noise, and red and so, all the villages would shoot firecrackers, fireworks, light lanterns and would have red decorations everywhere.
|Good luck||Bad luck|
|Cutting hair before new years||Cutting hair during new years|
|Cleaning before new years||Cleaning during new years|
|Wearing red||Negative words like death, sick, pain, empty, etc.|
|Fish||Breaking glass or ceramic|
|Money||The number 4 because it is a homophone with death.|
2021 Is the Year of the Yin Metal Ox
Zodiacs are a cycle of 12 animals used to determine life fortunes such as wealth, marriage, career and even personality. Every 5 cycles are split into five elements: Wood, water, metal, earth, and fire. Every other year they are split into either yin or yang.
This is the year of the yin metal ox.
- Oxen are strong, stubborn, and hard working.
- Good careers are doctors, lawyers, and CEOs.
- Tend to become workaholics.
|Lucky things for oxen||Unlucky things|
|Colors: blue, yellow, green||Colors: brown|
|Numbers: 1, 4||Numbers: 3, 6|
|Months: April, September, and December||Unlucky months: May, June, and July|
|Compatible with rat, snake, rooster.||Not compatible with horse, goat, dog.|
What Kind of Food is at Chinese New Year’s Feast?
- Spring rolls are made of pork, Chinese cabbage, shiitake, carrots, and wrapped in dough or rice paper and either boiled or fried.
- Dumplings can be fried, boiled, or steamed, and can be filled with any imaginable combination of meat and veggies. Sometimes a coin is put into one and whoever eats it gets good luck.
- Nian gao is a sticky rice cake. A legend says that a bad kitchen god ate all the food and staved its family. Then it would go to the jade god and told lies about the family to make them poor. The family fed him nian gao so that his mouth would stick shut. When he went to the jade god, he was not able to lie to the jade god and make them have bad luck.
- Noodles are treated with great care around the new year. They should not be cut and should be chewed as little as possible, or it would cut the years of your life. Before everyone begins eating, the longest noodle in each bowl should be given to the eldest of the house to wish them a long life.
For more information about Chinese New Year check out this cool video and check out the citations for even more fun stuff.