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Xin Nian Kuai Le! 10 Things you need to about the Chinese New Year

We have compiled 10 Facts about the World Renowned Chinese New Year and the festival that accompanies it! Check it out!

1. Chinese New Year is the longest and most important holiday in the Chinese Calendar and almost a sixth of the world’s population will be celebrating, particularly across Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia where there are significant Chinese populations.

2. It is based on the ancient Lunar calendar and always falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice. 

3. It is also known as the Spring Festival, which is the literal translation from the Chinese name. 

4. It is pronounced “Gong Xi Fa Cai” in Mandarin and “Gong Hey Fat Choy” in Cantonese, although both are written the same way. You can wish people a happy new year by saying “Xin Nian Kuai Le” in Mandarin or “San Nin Faai Lok” in Cantonese.

5. It is traditional to give children a red envelope filled with money which they will place under their pillows for 7 days to help bring them happiness and good fortune. 

6. The New Year is celebrated in many colourful and vibrant ways including dinners, parades and the iconic dragon dances! Another big ritual is cleaning the house on the 20th day of the second lunar month, this is called ‘sweeping the dust’ and represents a wish to put away old things, bid farewell to the old year, and welcome the New Year.

7. It is typical to stay up later than normal. This custom is called shousui which means ‘to keep watch over the year’!

8. Red clothing and decorations have become synonymous with New Year celebrations because they are said to scare away the mythical monster Nian. Legend has it that in ancient times, “Nian” (which means year) would come out to eat people and animals on the eve of every New Year, but was scared away one year by a beggar with a piece of red paper on his door and wearing a red robe. Since then households would paste red markings on their door, set off fire lights and light candles to scare the monster away!

9. Chinese New Year is the longest national holiday in China, lasting fifteen days! The first three days of New Year are statutory holiday but generally people take until the sixth day off work. 

10. The 15th day of the year sees the lantern festival where people send glowing lanterns into the sky while others let lanterns go on the sea, on rivers, or set them adrift in lakes. 

Check out our projects in China and experience this mesmerising culture for yourself!


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