Today, Monday February 8th is the beginning of the new year in the Chinese calendar. The festivities usually start the day before the new year and continue until the Lantern Festival, the 15th day of the new year. Billions celebrate according to a lunisolar calendar, which is based off of astronomical phenomena. This calendar determines the dates of holidays and helps Chinese people in selecting the luckiest days for weddings, funerals, moving, starting a business and other big changes in life. Learn more about this fascinating holiday that isn’t just celebrated by the Chinese people, but by the Vietnamese (which they call “Tet”), Thai, Filipino, Koreans, Indonesians and many more around the world.
Each Chinese New Year is characterized by one of twelve animals. The Chinese zodiac is divided into 12 houses. This year is the Year of the Monkey, the ninth animal in the cycle and one of the unluckiest years. The general personality of those in this zodiac sign is that they are smart, clever and intelligent, especially in their career and with their money. Monkeys are lively and quick-witted, plus their gentleness and honesty bring them an amazing love life. It sounds all good, but the Monkeys shortcomings are that they are quick tempered and have a tendency to look down on others. They can also be jealous and arrogant. Learn about your Chinese zodiac here.
The Chinese are very superstitious people, so there are many do’s and don’ts that one should abide by during the celebration of the new year. Like that you should not wash your hair today because in the Chinese language, hair (发) has the same pronunciation and character as “fa” in “facai” (发财), which means “to become wealthy.” Therefore, it is seen as not a good thing to “wash one’s fortune away” at the start of the new year. Another is that that porridge should not be eaten on this day because it is considered that only poor people have porridge for breakfast, and people don’t want to start the year as “poor.” You should also not wear black or white as these two colors are traditionally associated with mourning.