Happy Chinese New Year! Welcome in Year of the Snake!

Hi there buddies,

It’s Chinese New Year on Sunday, the most important day in the traditional Chinese calendar, a day with many myths and traditions surrounding it that date back centuries!

Chinese or Lunar New Year

Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival because it marks the end of the winter and the beginning of the spring in the Chinese calendar. The festivities of the New Year start on the first day of the lunar month, which is the New Moon, and continue until the 15th day of the lunar month.

What is Chinese New Year?

The origins of the Chinese New Year are steeped in legend. One legend is that thousands of years ago a monster named Nian (“year”) would attack villagers at the beginning of each new year. The monster was afraid of loud noises, bright lights, and the colour red, so these things were used to chase the beast away. Celebrations to usher out the old year and bring forth the luck and prosperity of the new one, therefore, often include firecrackers, fireworks, and red clothes and decorations.

Children traditionally wake up to find red envelopes under their pillows. These have been filled with money and sweets by their parents and grandparents! Families and friends spend time together, eating special foods and watching fireworks.

The last event held to mark the occasion is called the Lantern Festival. People often hang glowing lanterns in temples or carry them during a night-time parade. Since the dragon is a Chinese symbol of good fortune, there is often a dragon dance, which involves a long, colourful dragon, being paraded through the streets.

It’s a very exciting time. Happy Chinese New Year everyone!