Happy Chinese New Year

date_range 5 February, 2019 label , question_answer Leave your thoughts

In China, 2019 starts on 5 February with the pig as the animal chosen to champion all those born during the year. It is a huge event celebrated without fail in every household with a tradition that goes back 4,000 years. It is also known as the “Spring Festival” given that it lasts 15 days and falls during the weeks just prior to that period, thus symbolising the change of season.

As we mentioned above, the animal chosen in China for 2019 is the pig. In Chinese astrology the pig is associated with fertility and virility, which is bestowed on all newborns during the year. The belief is that people born under this sign will turn out to be well-considered and noble as well as displaying great generosity.

As happens with virtually all such events, this festival has various traditions, one being that is essential to spend it with family and loved ones. On such significant dates as these, bringing together a large number of your nearest and dearest is a portent of enhanced prosperity for the coming year. That is why, in China, it is very common to return to your home town or village to visit relatives in order to fulfil this tradition and ensure a good start to the year.

In addition to spending these days among loved ones, another of the most deeply rooted traditions at this time of year is to give the house a thorough spring clean, leaving spotless every nook and cranny that may have accumulated bad luck over the course of the previous year. The house is also decorated with garlands and Christmas trees, and although this is a tradition now acquired by the rest of the world, there is difference here from everywhere else: the purpose is to attract good luck.

One of the key moments of this festivity is the New Year’s Eve dinner, considered to be the most important meal of the year. Every generation of each family comes together to sit round the table and eat delicious dishes designed to bring good luck, including fish and spring rolls. They also usually throw firecrackers and let off fireworks. The more noise the better!

Another of the Chinese traditions during this period is the giving of the famous red envelopes. The youngest family members are given red envelopes by the adults that contain cash. Once again, red is considered to be a lucky colour. That is why the colour is even more important than the money inside, red having a truly important place in this tradition as a means of sharing blessings and success.

These are just some of the traditions of this annual event that sees in the start of a new year with the consistent factor being the quest for good luck. Now you know, from 5-19 February we have to attract happiness and avoid any negative behaviour in order to get the year of the pig off to a good start. RIU wishes you a Happy Chinese New Year! Did you know that we now have a presence on Chinese social media? Follow us on Weibo and WeChat!

 

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