Almost the whole world has already celebrated the onset of 2023 and returned to its work – the holidays and holidays are over, and the winter holidays are also coming to an end. However, there is a country whose inhabitants love this holiday so much that they celebrate it as much as twice - this is China! First, the Chinese celebrate the New Year together with the rest of the world - from December 31 to January 1, according to the Gregorian calendar. Then they celebrate the change of year according to the Eastern calendar, thanks to which the New Year in China and other countries of Eastern Europe is the longest and most important holiday of the year.
The peculiarity of the Chinese New Year is that it does not have clear dates: the whole world celebrates the onset of the new year on January 1, and the Chinese hold the event on different days.
When does the celebration begin?
As a rule, the first day of the holiday in China is appointed on the date when the second new moon occurs, following the winter solstice. According to the Eastern calendar, this day falls after December 21, and according to the Gregorian calendar - in the period from January 21 to February 21. The holiday itself in the PRC lasts as long as 15 days.
This year, the Chinese New Year fell on January 22, and the Chinese will celebrate the event from January 22 to February 5. The beginning of the new year according to the Eastern calculus falls on January 22, 2023, and its completion on February 9, 2024. The Eastern calendar differs from the generally accepted one in that according to their system they will meet not 2023, but the 4720th year.
What will be the symbol of the 4720th year?
Every year, the Chinese announce a symbol from a combination, and the list of symbols is repeated once every 6 decades. The combination represents 1 of the 12 signs of the Zodiac, its color and one of the five elements: wood, fire, metal, earth, water. In the coming new year, the Chinese are waiting for the following set: water, rabbit, blue and black.
By the way, the current circle of symbols began on February 2, 1984, and it will end on January 29, 2044. Each circle of 60 years begins with the Rat and the Tree, and ends with the Pig and the water.
New Year's traditions
The main festive tradition and legend is the monster Nian, or "Year" translated from Chinese - the inhabitants of the country should hide from it in their homes. A nanny appears on the first day of the celebration to eat the inhabitants, crops, pets and livestock, to destroy a couple of villages.
The best protection against the monster is to decorate houses with red paper patterns, lanterns and notes in which the Chinese wish each other health, happiness, longevity and love. Residents of the Celestial Empire traditionally adore the color red, as it is part of another legend that tells how the holiday appeared. According to ancient legends, Nian was afraid to touch people who wore red outfits – the monster once attacked the village and could not eat a baby dressed in a red shirt. Since then, the Chinese have been guarding their homes with paper of this color.
Every time before the holiday, the inhabitants of the country cleanly clean their homes, freeing it from garbage and unnecessary things - they believe that cleaning will attract good luck and make room for happiness in the house.
Before the holiday, all families of the country try to get together at the New Year's table, which is laid especially luxuriously and richly. Women prepare the favorite dishes of each family member so that everyone enters the New Year full and happy. On each table before the holiday there are rice, fish, meat and jiaozi - the local analogue of dumplings. This dish is symbolic, because such dumplings appear in the family when the Chinese are waiting for replenishment in the family.
Even if family members are in different cities and even countries, they should gather in their homeland and celebrate the holiday together – this is a sacred tradition and duty. Everyone wants to celebrate the holiday with parents and other close relatives, so they buy tickets for trains and planes much in advance. Before the New Year, it is simply impossible to buy a ticket for transport to another city, they are all sold out.
It is customary to end the festive night with an abundance of fireworks and fireworks, which should drive away evil spirits from homes and bring happiness to families.
How are the first days after New Year's Eve
The morning after the holiday, children should get up before their parents to wake them up, once again wish them a Happy New Year and wish them health, longevity and happiness. In response, parents also say wishes and give the kids red envelopes in which there is money.
After the ceremony, families gather and go to visit friends and relatives to continue the celebration and fun. The first 5 days after the onset of the new year, the Chinese go to each other's houses and communicate, exchanging wishes and gifts. Especially popular gifts are paired items that symbolize unity, harmony and friendship. Double pendants, mugs, straws and so on - what every resident of China expects for the holiday.
However, no one expects any items in the amount of 4 pieces - the hieroglyph of the four in the country is similar to the one that describes the word "death", so it is not customary to give such surprises.
In addition to the main gifts, each family during a visit to visit brings the owners a pair of tangerines and receives in return two others - so they exchange symbols of wealth and well-being.
On the sixth day and beyond, residents of the Celestial Empire take to the streets, where festivals, parades and other events are constantly held: people perform national dances, sing songs, wear a paper dragon on poles and light lanterns.