The Student News Source of the University of New Haven

The Charger Bulletin

Did You Know? – Chinese New Year

Joann Wolwowicz

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Print pagePDF pageEmail page

The Chinese calendar is different from the normal calendar used today. Like the Jewish and Islamic calendars, it is a lunar calendar and is divided into twelve months of either twenty-nine or thirty days. The calendar is synchronized with the solar year by the addition of extra months at fixed intervals. This year is known as the year of the tiger. With that said, let’s look into the origins of the Chinese New Year and all of the celebrations that are involved in celebrating the New Year.

The origins and celebrations were actually born out of fear and myth. The legend spoke of the wild beast called Nien that appeared at the end of each year, attacking and killing villagers. The villagers used loud noises and bright lights to scare the beast away. Hence the Chinese New Year celebrations were born. Today, the fifteen day New Year festivities are celebrated with a week of vacation in metropolitan areas of China, with the biggest celebration being on the eve of the holiday. When the New Year arrives, fireworks cover the city.

What most people do not know is that there are other important days within the fifteen day New Year Festival. Jie Cai Ceng is the name given to the fifth day of the celebration. It is a day that is given to welcoming the gods of wealth and prosperity, believing that they come down from the heavens. On this day, many businesses participate in the festivities by setting off firecrackers, believing that it will bring them prosperity and good fortune for their business.

Another special day is called Yuan Xiao Jie, the “Festival of Lanterns.” It is the fifteenth day of the New Year and it marks the end of all of the celebrations. All types of lanterns are lit throughout the streets and poems and riddles are written for entertainment. There are also paper lanterns on wheels created in the form of either a rabbit or the animal of the year. The rabbit lantern goes back to a Chinese myth about a female goddess who jumped onto the moon. So she would not travel alone, she brought a rabbit with her to keep her company. Legend says that if your heart is pure enough, you can see the goddess and her rabbit on the moon on this day.

This year the Chinese New Year celebrations began on Sunday, Feb. 14.  Happy New Year, everyone!

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
The Student News Source of the University of New Haven
Did You Know? – Chinese New Year