What is Chinese New Year?

Fernanda Capistran, Writer

As many people finish their New Year festivities, some are just now getting started. Chinese New Year arrives on January 22nd, when friends and family could gather together to celebrate and feast in many countries around the world! 

This year revolves around the Rabbit, the fourth animal in the Chinese Zodiac. Their zodiac contains the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. Every animal comes every 12 years, so the last year of the Rabbit was 2011! The rabbit on the zodiac symbolizes beauty, elegance, and peace, and is known as the luckiest of the twelve animals. But how did this holiday start? 

Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is one of the most important festivals in China, as it traces back to about 3,500 years ago. This festival is filled with stories and myths, however, one of the most popular legends revolves around the mythical beast Nian. This beast caused many problems, such as eating livestock, crops, and even people! To prevent this from happening, a wise old man figured out that the Nian feared the color red and sudden loud noises. So, people started putting up red lanterns and red scrolls all over their windows and doors to prevent Nian’s entry. They also lit up crackling bamboo to scare it away. This tradition has evolved ever since then.

How is it celebrated now?


Of course, this tradition has had many changes, such as the replacement of crackling bamboo with fireworks, but how do folks celebrate now? The main thing about this event is to cherish the family gatherings, but there’s more that goes on. A vast performance and parade are also held! Filled with activities, fireworks, music, and food! Feasts filled with plates of dumplings and spring rolls. The sounds of drums beating are used to keep the bad luck away from the parade, and red is all around for protection. A wonderful time when friends and family can reflect on themselves from past years, and focus on the hope for the future. 

The reason why they don’t celebrate on the first of January is that they have a different calendar, a Lunar Calendar to be exact, which is believed to have been established in the “Zhou Dynasty”. But this doesn’t change the fact that this holiday is just as great as the rest out there, Happy Lunar New Year!