Why Is Chinese New Year Celebrated?

DALL·E 2023 01 22 12.55.08 an impressionist painting of chinese new year
DALL·E 2023 01 22 12.55.08 an impressionist painting of Chinese new year

Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival or Lunar New Year, is a major holiday in China and in Chinese communities around the world. It is celebrated at the turn of the traditional lunar calendar and marks the beginning of a new year. The festival is steeped in tradition and symbolism, with a rich history dating back thousands of years.

It’s my job to write about things that people are googling today and today is Chinese New Year.  But the fact that people ask why an entire country celebrates its New Year is a bit concerning to me.  Either way, here are your answers.

Origins

The origins of Chinese New Year can be traced back to the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BCE) when the Chinese celebrated the New Year to honor their ancestors and gods. The festival was also a time to honor the gods of the earth and agriculture, as well as the god of the kitchen. These early celebrations were held in the middle of the first lunar month, which is why the festival is still celebrated today on the same date.

Customs and Traditions

One of the most important customs of Chinese New Year is the reunion dinner, which is typically held on New Year’s Eve. Families gather together to enjoy a feast of traditional foods, such as dumplings, fish, and noodles. Red envelopes filled with money are also exchanged as gifts, especially between older family members and children.

Another important tradition is the decoration of the house with red lanterns, banners, and couplets. The color red is believed to ward off bad luck and bring good fortune. Fireworks and firecrackers are also set off to scare away evil spirits.

Symbolism

Chinese New Year is rich in symbolism, with many customs and traditions designed to bring good luck and prosperity in the new year. The red lanterns, banners, and couplets are all symbols of good luck and happiness. The reunion dinner is a symbol of family unity and togetherness. The red envelopes filled with money are a symbol of wealth and prosperity.

Conclusion

Chinese New Year is a vibrant and important holiday that is celebrated by millions of people around the world. It is steeped in tradition and symbolism and has a rich history dating back thousands of years. The customs and traditions of Chinese New Year are designed to bring good luck and prosperity in the new year and to celebrate the important bond of family. So asking the question is asking about a culture that involves about 20% of the human population.