Xin Nian Kuai Le! – “Happy New Year”
Gung Hay Fat Choy! – “May you have good fortune”
On the 28th of January, millions of people will celebrate the traditional and very important Chinese New Year. Here are five interesting facts about the world-famous event.
1) Symbolically, the Chinese New Year represents the start of spring and the end of the coldest part of the winter. This is a time when people could traditionally start to look forward to Spring.
2) The Chinese Zodiac moves in 12 year cycles with each year-cycle representing an animal. Those born in 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005 and 2017 are officially known as Roosters. In the Zodiac cycle, roosters are considered passionate, creative and strong-headed.
3) Billions of red envelopes of cash are exchanged every year during Chinese New Year. The red symbolises good luck which is supposed to ward off evil spirits. Interestingly, it is considered unlucky to give an amount of money including a 4 四 as it sounds like “death”. On the other hand, the number 8 八 is a lot more auspicious as it represents wholeness and completeness.
4) In ancient times, it was assumed that the flash and bang of fireworks scared off evil spirits. Nowadays, fireworks are also used to heighten the lively atmosphere that the festival brings. Interestingly, Chinese New Year actually marks the World’s biggest fireworks display.
5) Fascinatingly, on the stroke of midnight each Chinese New Year, it is normal to open every door and window in order to eliminate the bad luck of the previous year.
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