Lunar New Year Parade, 2008 Photo Credit: Getty Images
On Thursday, February 19th people all over the world celebrated the biggest holiday in the Chinese calendar, Chinese New Year.
The Independent reports that there are an expected 2.8 billion trips happening across China, in a phenomenon called Chun Yun, where people who work and live in cities away from their home, are meeting up with friends and family to celebrate the year of the Sheep.
Each year is based on a lunar zodiac calendar, and the new year falls anywhere between January 21, and February 19 2015. 2013 celebrated the year of the Horse on January 31, and 2016 will celebrate the year of the monkey.
Travel China Guide, explains that Chinese New year is celebrated for a full 15 days, and includes special traditions such as cleaning spaces in the home and decorating them for the celebration. This includes “pasting the Fu” where families decorate homes with a symbol that signifies good luck and wishes for the new year, and many of the decoration incorporate the color red, as it is believed to be a color of good luck.
As far as food during the holiday, it is most common to eat dumplings, as they somewhat resemble an ancient Chinese currency, and it is believed that this is a way to encourage wealth in the New Year. It is also common for children to receive red envelopes filled with money from parents and the elderly.
Those who stay up all night to celebrate the year, usually tune into an annual New Years Gala that has been popular since the early 80’s, watch gigantic fireworks displays, and set off a few firecrackers of their own.
Lets hope that the year of the sheep brings prosperity and luck to all of us! Happy New Year!