Chinese new year is an incredibly popular festival celebrated by many. However, there a quite a few things people might not know about this glorious occasion! Here are some fun facts that you may or may not already know!
1. 1/4 of the world's population celebrate it
Over 2 billion people celebrate this festival! Countries include Macau, Indonesia, Vietnam, Korea and many more! That really is an enormous amount of people!
2. There is no set date for Chinese New Year
The date of this festival changes every year. However, it always falls between January 21st and February 20th. The date is determined by the Chinese lunar calendar. For this year, it falls on a Friday, 12th of February.
3. Symbolic foods are eaten
Dumplings are popular because they symbolise wealth. It is said that the more dumplings you eat, the richer you get.
Fish is eaten as well because the Chinese word for it "yu" sounds like "surplus" which means to have an increase in prosperity.
Spring rolls symbolise wealth and prosperity. (Fun fact: they are named 'Spring rolls' because they are eaten during the Spring festival)
Glutinous rice cakes are eaten so that you can get a higher income or position at your workplace. It can also mean to get higher grades at school or success in the future.
Sweet rice balls (tang yuan) are commonly eaten during the Chinese lantern festival. However, in south China, many eat them during the lunar new year. The round appearance of tang yuan represents the reunion of family and friends.
4. You will see the colour red everywhere
Red is believed to be a highly auspicious colour. It represents happiness, health and prosperity. This is why many people like to wear red clothing and hang up red decorations during this festival.
5. Giving Pears or Mirrors as gifts to others is bad luck
The Chinese word for Pear is "梨 lí" which sounds similar to "离 lí" which means to leave.
Mirrors are said to attract evil spirits. They are also easily breakable and such items are said to be a bad omen.
6. Fireworks and firecrackers to ward off misfortune
Tons of fireworks and firecrackers are set off in the sky. This is believed to ward off negative energy and evil spirits so that the new year can be ushered in positively.
So, these are just a few of the many facts about Chinese New Year. If you're struggling to start a conversation with your relative, why not share some of these facts with them? Maybe they'll gain a little more knowledge about this popular annual festival!