We are Agnihotri Immigration wish all our Chinese family and friends a HAPPY NEW YEAR.
Here are 10 interesting facts about this important and popular holiday.
1.The Chinese New Year date changes each year!
The date for Chinese New Year changes each year. It always falls between January 21 and February 20, determined by the Chinese lunar calendar. Chinese New Year 2019 is on Tuesday, February 5.
2. The holiday is also called the “Spring Festival”.
Though in winter, Chinese call their New Year holidays ‘Spring Festival’ (春节chūnjié /chwnn-jyeah/), because ‘Start of Spring’ (4–18 February) is the first of the terms in the traditional solar calendar. While wintry weather prevails, ‘Start of Spring’ marks the end of the coldest part of winter when the Chinese traditionally could look forward to the beginning of spring.
3. Every Chinese New Year starts a new animal’s zodiac year.
There are 12 Chinese zodiac animals. In order, the 12 animals are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. 2019 is the year of the Pig.
4. The festival is celebrated for 16 days till the Lantern Festival.
Traditionally, the 16 days from New Year’s Eve until the Lantern Festival each had a special celebration activity.
On the evening of the 15th day of the first lunar month (February 19, 2019), on the night of the full moon, families gather for dinner and go out and see fireworks and light lanterns. Lanterns are put up for decoration, let loose to fly, and floated in rivers
5. Billions of red envelopes are exchanged.
Chinese people love the color red. Giving red envelopes is a way to send good wishes and luck (as well as money). Red envelopes are given out from older to younger, from bosses to employees, and from leaders to underlings. It is a special New Year’s bonus.
6. It is a festival for 1/4 of the world’s population.
The world’s population will be 7.7 billion for Spring Festival 2019, and over 2 billion celebrate it in some way, even if it’s just a national acknowledgment.
These countries have public holidays: Mainland China (1.41 billion), Hong Kong (7M), and Macau (0.6M), and nine other Asian countries — Indonesia (264M), The Philippines (105M), Vietnam (95M), South Korea (51M), Malaysia (31M), North Korea (25M), Taiwan (23M), Singapore (5M), and Brunei (0.4M).
That is already 2017 million, so with the sizable Chinese, Vietnamese, etc. populations who celebrate in cities like New York, London, Vancouver, and Sydney, there will be over 2019 million people who acknowledge the festival in 2019.
7. The festival causes the world’s largest annual migration.
For Chinese people, the most important part of the Chinese Spring Festival is to enjoy a reunion dinner with their families on New Year’s Eve, even if they have to travel long distances.
200 million Mainland Chinese travel long distances for these holidays, and it is estimated that there are 3.5 billion journeys in China. Tens of millions of people travel to other countries too. It makes the largest annual human migration in the world, known as the Spring Festival Travel Rush.
For comparison, less than 100 million people travel more than 50 miles during the Christmas holidays in the US according to the American Automobile Association.
8. Washing, sweeping, or taking out the garbage is not allowed.
During the Chinese New Year period, there are many superstitions.
Washing hair or clothes is not allowed on the first day of the lunar year because it is seen as “washing one’s fortune away” at the beginning of the year. Sweeping up and taking out the garbage symbolizes removing the good luck from the house, so people don’t do that either.
9. There is the world’s biggest annual fireworks usage.
Another for our facts about Chinese New Year, no single hour in any other country sees as many tons of fireworks lighted as in China around the midnight beginning Chinese New Year. China produces about 90% of the world’s fireworks!
Fireworks are used to scare evil spirits: Most mainland Chinese believe that the flash and bang of firecrackers and fireworks scare away demons and evil ghosts.
10. Singles hire fake boys/girlfriends to take home.
This is a fresh new fact about Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year is a joyful time for most, but for singles above the normal matrimonial age, it’s not. In China, females are said to be marriageable up to 30, and males before 32.
For “old” singles, parents are extremely anxious. So New Year’s Eve stress is heightened by embarrassing interrogations of the singles. Desperate parents even arrange dating (prospective marriages) for their single children.
To solve this problem an interesting, and often ridiculous, a solution has appeared — renting a boyfriend or girlfriend for the New Year. There are websites and agents specialized in this business. The price is about 100 yuan (16 USD) a day.