Something You Didn’t Know About Chinese New Year

From January 23rd to February 2nd, we will enjoy our Chinese New Year. How much you know about Chinese New Year?

Below are some interesting facts that you probably didn’t know about Chinese New Year.

1. Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival

In China, you’ll hear it being called Chunjie (春节), or the Spring Festival.The holiday marks the end of the coldest days. People welcome spring and what it brings along: planting and harvests, new beginnings and fresh starts.

2. It is a day for praying to gods

The Spring Festival was originally a ceremonial day to pray to gods for a good planting and harvest season. People also prayed to their ancestors, as they were treated as gods (see Mulan for reference).

3. Fighting off monsters

But the myths are much more interesting. According to one legend, there was a monster named Nian (年). It would come about every New Year’s Eve. Most people would hide in their homes. But one boy was brave enough to fight him off using firecrackers. The next day, people celebrated their survival by setting off even more firecrackers. And that practice became a crucial part of the Spring Festival.

Due to safety reasons and concerns for air pollution, many Chinese cities have banned fireworks. More than 500 cities have restrictions too.

4. The Spring Festival causes the largest human migration in the world

The most important part of Chinese New Year is the family reunion. Everyone should come back home for the New Year’s Eve dinner.

But since in modern China, most elderly parents live in rural villages while their children work in the cities. The migration back home and to go on vacation is called Chunyun (春运), or Spring Migration.

2019 has been the past, and 2020 already comes. Wish you a new year of happiness, fortune and health. Happy New Year!

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