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Chinese New Year Facts You Should Know

Chinese New Year is the most ceremonious traditional festival in China, as well as an indispensable part of Chinese culture. It is a special celebration for every Chinese person throughout the world.

 

It is a festival for 1/4 of the world's population.

1.

The world’s population will be 7.7 billion for New Year 2021, and over 2 billion celebrate it in some way.

The Chinese New Year date changes each year.

2.

The date for Chinese New Year changes each year. It always falls between January 21 and February 20 and is determined by the Chinese lunar calendar. In 2021, Chinese New Year falls on Friday, February 12th.

Every Chinese New Year starts a new animal's zodiac year.

3.

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.

It is the longest Chinese holiday.

4.

Chinese New Year, is the longest and most important holiday for Chinese people. It is usually celebrated from the eighth day of the twelfth month to the fifteenth of the first month (lantern festival), by Chinese lunar calendar.

No haircuts for a month

5.

Getting haircuts is one taboo for the Chinese New Year.  Getting Haircuts is strongly discouraged during the first lunar month as it is believed that this will bring bad luck to your maternal uncles. And most hair salons stay closed for the month. The reason dates back to the Qing Dynasty. The Han Chinese were forced to shave the front of their heads, and they would say ‘remember the old days when we didn’t have to get a haircut at the start of each year’. The words for ‘remember the old days’ sound similar to the words for ‘dead uncle’.

The origin of the lucky money

​​6.

Once upon a time, there was a family. The couple got married for decades and fortunately, a son was born. However, at that time, there was a devil which always came at the New Year Eve and loved to touch children’s heads while sleeping, then they got sick or became silly. One day, some gods passed by the house of the old couple and knew that the devil would come to this family and harmed their son that night. Therefore, to protect the child, the gods turned into some coins and let the mother grabbed them inside a piece of red paper putting right beside her child’s pillow. That night, the devil came; however, it was scared by the twinkle light from the coin and could not put its hands on the child or harmed him.

The earliest firecrackers were made with bamboo.

7.

In ancient times, firecrackers were made by burning 竹( bamboo) in a fire. The firecrackers were called “爆竹” because they made a "puff puff puff" sound. After the advent of gunpowder, people filled the bamboo tube with saltpeter, sulfur, and charcoal to burn, resulting in a "爆竹". In the Song Dynasty, Han people began to use paper tubes and hemp stalks to wrap gunpowder into strings to make "firecrackers"