One of the brightest and longest festivities in the world, accompanied by red and gold flowers, explosions of firecrackers and processions of figures from Chinese mythology. "Spring Festival", which in Russia is called "Chinese New Year".
Chinese New Year start date
The lunar-solar calendar is used in China to determine the dates of traditional holidays, the beginning of certain types of agricultural work.
The oldest Chinese holiday is a complex of ceremonies and rituals lasting more than two weeks. Unlike its Western counterpart, there is no fixed date for the start of the Chinese New Year and is set at a different time each year. According to the lunisolar calendar, the first day of the holiday in China begins on the second new moon after the winter solstice. The Chinese New Year ends in fifteen days of the new lunar month with a procession with lanterns.
Below are the dates when the Chinese New Year begins in the next five years:
- In 2014 - from January 31 to February 14;
- In 2015 - from February 19 to March 5;
- In 2016 - from February 8 to February 22;
- In 2017 - from January 28 to February 11;
- In 2018 - from February 16 to March 2.
Celebrating Chinese New Year
It is the largest celebration on the Chinese calendar, and is as big as Christmas and New Year's Eve in the Western world. The day before, people are busy preparing for the celebration, making wish lists, buying gifts and materials for decoration. They prepare traditional holiday treats, because even in the poorest Chinese family it is customary to set the table richly for a family dinner. Thousands of years of celebrating the Chinese New Year are inspired by the legends of the people of the Middle Kingdom.
In one legend about the origin of the Chinese New Year, it is said that a dragon named Nian (or Nian) got into the habit of visiting people in the village. He broke into houses, ate the harvest gathered by the villagers, not disdaining the villagers themselves and their children, if they did not have time to hide in the mountains. In order not to give the dragon a reason to burst into the house, the villagers put up a treat outside. One fine day, people noticed how Nian was frightened by a toddler dressed in red clothes. Realizing that it was a matter of color, every year the whole village began to decorate houses and streets with red cloth and lanterns, and put on red clothes. It was believed that the roar of pyrotechnics frightens evil spirits, so at the holiday the Chinese began to set fire to long bundles of firecrackers.
Another legend tells of a beggar old man with a silver mustache who volunteered to help the unfortunate villagers. The inhabitants did not pay attention to the strange stranger, gathered their belongings and went to hide in the whole village in the forest on the mountain. Having waited for the dragon at night, the old man came out to meet him in red clothes, rattled firecrackers and drove Nanny away.
One of the legends says that once upon a time, a very long time ago, Buddha invited all the animals of the earth to celebrate the New Year with him. Only twelve responded to the invitation, and the Buddha named them the following years.
A common practice among the Chinese on the eve of a celebration is a general cleaning of the house, which drives away troubles and attracts good luck. Residents scrub their rooms and apartments from floor to ceiling, wash and repaint windows and doors. According to the legends, outside houses are decorated with lanterns, red linen, sheets with predictions are hung on which the hieroglyphs "wealth", "happiness", "longevity" are inscribed.
In the evening, the whole family gathers at the festive table, in the morning tables with tributes to the monster are set outside the doors of the houses, and in the afternoon a team of actors with a huge dragon figure begins to walk the streets. Puppet Nian looks into every open door of the street, where money is invested in his mouth. After his departure, the owner of the house sets fire to the pre-hung ribbons with firecrackers, scaring away invisible evil spirits and onlookers with a roar. So, when you find yourself witnessing the holiday, do not forget to buy earplugs at the pharmacy.