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The Lunar New Year is one of China’s most important holidays. However, it’s also celebrated in many countries with a significant Chinese population. One of the easiest ways to get immersed in this unique date is to learn fun facts about the Lunar New Year.
This is a great time to celebrate and reunite with your loved ones, so why not learn more about it? You can even celebrate a few Lunar New Year traditions at work!
If you’ve been wondering: “When is the Chinese Lunar New Year?” you don’t have to look further. On this page, we’ll cover all the amazing and fun facts about this holiday. Get ready to celebrate wherever you are.
What Is the Lunar New Year?
The Lunar New Year is a 15-day event that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese lunar calendar, as well as the spring season’s arrival. In China’s culture, this holiday is also known as the “Spring Festival.”
Traditions vary depending on the culture. Some see this holiday as a great opportunity to clean their homes or shop in open-air markets. Others enjoy decorating their doors and windows. Many people do all of them!
Most of the time, the holiday starts with the Lunar New Year’s Eve reunion dinner. There, many people feast on delicious and symbolic dishes. One of the most important ones is fish. Families often eat whole fish, as they’re seen as a symbol of good luck and fortune.
The Lunar New Year ends with the Lantern Festival. There, people have tangyuan, which are glutinous rice balls. Children also tend to carry lanterns around their neighborhoods. It’s a great sight for everyone.
When Is the Chinese Lunar New Year?
As mentioned, the Lunar New Year may have different start dates depending on the culture and year. In China, the 2024 New Year will start on Saturday, February 10th.
The festivities will end on February 24th, 2024, which gives people about 16 days of festivities. However, only the first seven days are considered public holidays.
It’s important to know the Lunar New Year traditions so that you can start celebrating accordingly. Remember that the date can vary every year. Last year, for example, the Chinese New Year started on January 22nd.
Most of the time, however, the Chinese New Year starts between late January/February. It’s timed to the new moon.
Why Is the Lunar New Year So Important?
The Lunar New Year is important because of what it symbolizes. Most countries see a new year as an opportunity to grow, mature, and reunite with families.
Even those who aren’t familiar with the holiday are amazed at all the Lunar New Year games and traditions available. Unlike with other holidays, there are plenty of Lunar New Year colors, decorations, and activities to follow.
What’s the 2024 Lunar New Year Animal?
The Lunar New Year zodiac is represented by animals. Last year, we had the Year of the Rabbit, which is seen as open, optimistic, imaginative, and more.
In 2024, we’ll get the Year of the Dragon, so it’ll be exciting to discover what this unique animal has in store for people, especially those who are born this year.
The transition between animals every year helps people check a few interesting things about their year, such as which lucky numbers they can expect, colors, and more. It also helps to identify a few unlucky things to avoid.
15 Fun Facts About the Lunar New Year
Here’s where it gets interesting; if you want to learn more fun facts about the Lunar New Year, this is the right place!
The following section has interesting Lunar New Year trivia that you can keep in mind during the holidays.
1. It’s the Biggest/Largest Holiday in Asian Culture
As you may already know by reading the previous sections, the Lunar New Year is a large holiday. It lasts a little over two weeks!
The holiday is celebrated in many other countries besides China, including Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and more.
Even if you’re not in a country that celebrates Asian culture like this, many people around the world still celebrate their way. You can expect some people to celebrate the Lunar New Year in London, New York, and many other places.
About two billion people celebrate the holiday every year, so it’s not a small one by any means.
2. About the “Spring Festival”
The Lunar New Year also gets this name because it celebrates the start of the spring.
China’s traditional Lunar Calendar was born approximately 4,000 years ago. It was supposed to divide every year into seasons to make agriculture easier for workers.
The New Year, in this case, starts around the time the sun enters a position that starts gradual warming, which is perfect for people to start planting crops. This represents the beginning of spring, hence the festival’s alternate name.
3. Many Traditions Exist Because of Ancient Legends
Many Lunar New Year traditions were born because of legends from the past. This makes the holiday much more unique compared to other ones.
Chinese legends, for example, tell us that a beast named Nian used to devour people on New Year’s Eve. According to said legends, wearing red was what drove the monster away, which is why red is such a popular color for people celebrating the holiday.
Many people also use plenty of fireworks during the Lunar New Year. Not only do they look beautiful, but the sounds they produce are said to scare evil spirits off.
Of course, other Lunar New Year decorations could also have a great history to tell. You can find plenty of information online, or you can also ask locals. Most of them will be happy to tell you more about their celebrations!
Even the smallest tradition can have a lot of history behind it. If you want to celebrate the right way, make sure to learn more about all the activities and traditions that make the holiday unique.
4. Many Taboos Are Also Associated with the Lunar New Year
We’ve mentioned that people tend to clean their homes around the holidays, but why? Most of the time, people will clean before the holidays start. This is because it’s a common belief that cleaning during the festivities symbolizes bad luck.
In other words, people often don’t sweep or clean their homes, as it’s seen as “washing away” good luck.
Some people don’t even wash or cut their hair during these dates! They believe that doing it could wash prosperity away.
5. It’s Also a Great Time to Honor Your Ancestors
The Lunar New Year is perfect for reuniting with your family, but many people also use these festivities to honor the ones who came before them.
It’s a common belief that deceased family members still live in the spiritual world, so it’s important to pay respects to them and get blessings for the ones still living.
Interestingly enough, some families “invite” their ancestors to join dinner, and they’re even served their favorite dish.
6. People Use Many Greetings Besides “Happy New Year”
Most people worldwide use “Happy New Year” as the official greeting during the holidays. However, eastern cultures offer many unique ones.
Usually, the Mandarin phrase “Gong Xi Fa Cai” is used as a greeting, which translates to “Wishing you prosperity and wealth.”
Other unique greetings include:
- Good luck and fortune.
- May wealth come pouring in.
- May everything go as you wish.
- May you have abundance every year.
7. The Lunar New Year Zodiac May Change Depending on the Country
Not all countries and cultures use the same animals to represent the Lunar New Year. Last year, for example, China went with the Rabbit, but Vietnam went with a Cat. You may check online for more information on the different animals per country.
8. Traditions Also Vary Depending on the Country
One of the things that makes the holiday unique is that there are plenty of traditions to follow. However, not everyone follows the same traditions, so you should research before celebrating.
In the Philippines, for example, people jump at midnight. This is because tradition states that doing it will make them grow taller. Other countries may not follow the same activities.
Most of the time, the main difference you’ll see is in the colors and costumes. Each country will have unique events, foods, and clothes to wear, so you can look up each and see which one you identify with the most.
In China, the 2024 colors will be emerald green, red, golden, and black.
9. It’s Tradition to Hand Out Red Envelopes
According to old stories, the demon Sui used to terrorize children around NYE. Parents tried to keep children awake by giving them eight coins, which represented eight immortals in disguise. Said coins were supposed to keep the demon away as the children fell asleep.
The red envelope exchanged today is a symbol of these coins. You can exchange envelopes with anyone in your family and put any amount of money you want.
However, some people avoid amounts that include the number four, as its Chinese pronunciation is similar to the one for “death”.
10. Dumplings Are Famous During These Holidays
Dumplings are often associated with wealth, and according to tradition, the more you eat, the more prosperity you’ll get in the year.
It’s common to see people eating lots of dumplings during these holidays.
11. The Dragon Represents Strength, Health, and Good Luck
In 2024, we’re getting the Dragon as the zodiac animal. The last time it appeared was in 2012.
Dragons, at least in Chinese culture, are associated with many positive things, including good health.
What makes the animal unique is that it’s the only mythical creature in the Chinese Zodiac. Also, more babies are born in the Year of the Dragon compared to other animals.
12. You Get a Different Zodiac Animal Depending on Your Birth Year
According to culture, your Zodiac Animal is decided by your birth year. In other words, the animal that represented the Lunar Year when you were born is your Zodiac Animal.
If you were born in 1997, for example, your animal would be the Ox. Those born in 2024 will get the Dragon.
You can easily check online to discover your Zodiac Animal, which animals it pairs well with, and which positive traits characterize it.
13. There Are 12 Chinese Zodiac Animals
There are 12 Chinese Zodiac animals:
14. Almost Everything Is Red in China During the Holidays
You’ll notice red decorations all over the place during the Lunar New Year, at least in China. This includes red decorations, spring couplets, paper cuttings, and more.
Red is seen as a sign of vitality, happiness, good luck, and good fortune, among other positive elements.
15. The Lunar New Year Causes the World’s Largest Migration Every Year
Tens of millions of people travel during these holidays. In China, this event is named “Chun Yun,” and it refers to a 40-day period where Chinese people travel back home to celebrate the Lunar New Year.
This event is also called the “Spring Festival Travel Rush.” It’s currently the largest annual human migration on Earth.
How You Can Celebrate Lunar New Year Traditions at Work
The beauty of technology is that it allows us to celebrate wherever we are. Even if you’re stuck at work during these holidays, there are many opportunities to follow Lunar New Year traditions.
If you want to celebrate with your coworkers, there are plenty of activities you can plan, such as:
- Making a “dumpling cooking” class
- Giving out red envelopes to your team
- Decorating based on office zodiac signs
- Offering Chinese tea to your coworkers
- Talking to people about the Lunar New Year and its traditions
- Cleaning your office before the festivities start
Knowing these Chinese New Year facts prepares you for what’s coming. Whether you want to celebrate and work and look up feng shui for office desk directions or set up your home with unique decorations, there are many options to consider.
We hope this page has helped you discover the Lunar New Year and what makes it so special. If you’re looking for desk décor ideas for work, remember to check more blog posts from Autonomous.
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