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10 fun facts you didn’t know about Chinese New Year!

✷10 fun facts you didn’t know about Chinese New Year!✷

Its the year of the pig and whether you’re celebrating or looking to learn more, read our 10 fun facts you didn’t know about Chinese New Year!

1. To bring good fortune for Chinese New Year  it is considered good luck to clean the house for the festival, without doing so it is said to bring bad luck.

 

2. The main celebrations usually begin with a feast on the eve of the Spring Festival with a family gathering. This includes extra luxuries and special treats during the meal. The gathering is also an opportunity for the family to give “red pockets.” which is a small red envelope which contains money. This is usually from the older relatives and is given to the young.

 

3. “Chunlian” are strips of red paper which are displayed outside most homes. This is usually made up of three strips – two either side of the door and one above. The messages convey good health and fortune and usually contains four Chinese characters in gold writing.

 

4.  Friends and families come together to eat “Tang Yuan” – a Chinese dessert made from glutinous rice flour that are sometimes filled and contain different flavours.  This is eaten on the eve of the 15th day and the two weeks of celebrations usually ends with a Lantern Festival!

 

5. It is said that a ferocious beast, Nian who preys on humans is said to emerge on New Year’s Eve, but is frightened off by the fireworks!

 

6.  Fú (福) means happiness or fortune and is a traditional calligraphy decoration. However, the word is rarely seen written upright.

 

7. In Chinese mythology, The Stove God (zào shén) interacts with humans the most, controlling our meals and wellbeing.
The Stove God reports the families behaviour throughout the year to the Jade Emperor (yù dì) when returning to heaven. As ordered by the Jade Emperor he returns to Earth to either bless or punish the families.

Traditionally, families will make malt candy (traditional Chinese sweet) to offer to the Stove God which will sweeten his mouth to praise the family when reporting back to the Jade Emperor. This ensures the family will have a fortunate year to follow.

 

8. Your zodiac year is said to be unlucky and may bring bad fortune! The way to protect yourself from this is to wear something red for the entire year, such as a bracelt or even underwear! Today it is still treated as a real concern.

 

9. Traditionally, the second day of Chinese new year people visit their in-laws (called yíng xù rì.) A married couple will visit the wife’s family and friends on this day.

 

10. There are also things to remember if you are celebrating Chinese New Year this year:

Never stick your chopsticks straight into your bowl of rice especially if eating with elders! This is due to resembling burning incense to commemorate passed ancestors. Also there may be a dish that placed on the table that is not meant to be eaten until the very last day of the holiday. So make sure you don’t take a bite before then!

 

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*Special Thanks to Garment Technologist – Li Chen*

 

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