By Jaeyeon Kim |Staff Writer|
In America, New Year’s day is every January 1.
In China, New Year’s Day in 2016 is February 8.
Why is the Chinese New Year different from America’s? How does Chinese New Year’s Day operate on the Lunar Calendar?
“Though China officially operates on the international Gregorian calendar, the traditional lunisolar calendar maintains ceremonial significance, and so every year, around the new moon closest to the beginning of spring, Chinese people ring in the beginning of a new annual cycle,” according to Time magazine.
The Chinese calendar allocates each New Year with an animal of zodiacs: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. 2016 is the year of the Monkey.
On the Chinese New Year’s day, families come together to enjoy, celebrate, and eat food.
“The New Year’s Eve dinner is called ‘reunion dinner’, and it is the most important meal of the year,” according to chinahighlights.com.
“During the dinner, normally fish will be served. Dumplings are the most important dish in Northern China. These two dishes signify prosperity,” according to chinesenewyears.info.
In addition to enjoying symbolic food, Chinese people decorate their houses and the streets in celebration of the holiday.
Red is the typical color for the Chinese New Year, because Chinese believe that red symbolizes good fortune.
Chinese use red lanterns, paper cuttings, paintings, and door couplets for celebrating the Chinese New Year.
Chinese people like to have a kumquat tree at home for the Chinese New Year.
“Having a kumquat tree at home symbolizes a wish for both wealth and good luck. Kumquat trees are a very popular plant displayed during the Chinese New Year holidays,” according to chinahighlights.com
They also have superstitions about celebrating the Chinese New Year.
The Chinese do not use sharp objects like knives on this important day, since pointed objects are considered bad luck, according to feng-shui.lovetoknow.com.
They do not argue or cry on New Year’s Day unless they wish to cry and argue throughout the upcoming year.
They serve noodles for the New Year’s meal, because the longer the noodle, the longer and happier their luck and prosperity will be.
These superstitions are symbolic in hopes of good fortune, prosperity, and longevity for the upcoming year.
Chinese people enjoy and celebrate the Chinese New Year in diverse ways with their families.