Chun Jie — Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year

Chun Jie — Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year

The tradition of meeting a certain animal-symbol in the new year came from China. Bright, noisy Chun Ze — literally Spring Festival — is the most beloved and longest holiday of the year, it is celebrated for at least 15 days. Noisy, colorful festivals attract tourists from all over the world.

Interesting Numbers

The Chinese New Year is often referred to as the "lunar new year" because its exact date is determined based on the phases of the moon. On February 1, the Chinese will celebrate the year 4720, calendar ahead of the whole world by more than 2500 years. 

The start date of the Spring Festival is not constant — it is timed to coincide with the first new moon following the winter solstice

In 2022, begins in China Tiger — this is one of the twelve mythical animal patrons of the year (Boar (Pig), Rat (Mouse), Bull, Tiger, Hare (Rabbit), Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog).

At the hearth

To protect themselves from the monster Nian (Nan) devouring crops, livestock, children and even gaping adults, the Chinese hang red lanterns and decorate houses with symbolic patterns, paired paintings with wishes. The festive decor is dominated by red, which is feared by a ferocious monster. Treats are certainly placed at the door — having had enough, Nian will leave the inhabitants of the generous house alone.

In addition, the hostesses carry out general cleaning, because all family members will gather at the hearth, even those who are very far away. This travel season is called Chunyun. 2-3 days before the holiday in China, a transport collapse occurs — train, bus or plane becomes simply impossibleCompanies that employ Chinese people have come to terms with the inevitability of temporary migration of employees and recognize these days as official holidays.

New Year's Eve is celebrated in the same way as ours — at a family feast. The next morning after the festive night, children respectfully congratulate their parents, receiving in return red envelopes with money — hongbao.

Festive table

They sit down for a meal on the eve of the New Year. The hostess lays a plentiful table, which always includes meat, poultry, fish, tofu and traditional jiaozi dumplings, embodying the wish for the birth of sons. As well as numerous sweets, confectionery, including niangao rice cookies.

Recently, the tradition of celebrating a holiday in a restaurant is gaining momentum. Tables are booked several months in advance, because it is simply unrealistic to do this on the eve of the Spring Festival.

Some families hire professional chefs. Their employment these days is so high that they move from house to house on their own two feet — not trusting transport that can get stuck in traffic jams for a long time, cooks literally run from client to client.

Tribute to friends

During the first five days, the inhabitants of the country visit each other. Paired items are brought as a gift in the amount of 2, 6, 8, and so on, but not 4 — this is an unlucky number in China. 

There is a nice custom of exchanging tangerines. When they come to visit, the Chinese give a couple of citrus fruits to the owners of the house. And leaving get two others. Thus, both families participate in the exchange of wishes for financial well-being and prosperity.

Street Processions

Traditionally, the Chinese dress up as animals and mythical creatures to take part in street masquerades and festive processions. The spring festival is dominated by majestic lions and dragons, their dances can be seen throughout the fifteen days and even a little later. The parades are accompanied by the ringing of bells, drumming and national music. The final day is called the Lantern Festival, a great variety of all kinds of lanterns appear on the streets.

These bright performances attract tourists from all over the world to the Celestial Empire, they also became the reason for the popularity of the Spring Festival in many European and other countries.

Despite the fact that the official New Year begins in China on January 1, its celebration is quiet and imperceptible — all the ardor falls on the meeting of Chun Jie, when, as if competing in originality, the inhabitants of the Celestial Empire return to medieval traditions.


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