The Chinese New year; also known as “The spring festival” is the most important and social economic holiday in china. The first day of this New Year lies between 21st January and 20th February. The Chinese New year has so much importance because of numerous myths and traditions; however, it was originally celebrated to welcome the ancestors and deities.
Chinese New Year is been celebrated through centuries and it is celebrated in countries with major Chinese population that includes Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
The Ancient Chinese calendar
The Chinese New Year is based on its ancient Chinese calendar which is their social and religious guide. It arranges their months, days and dates according to astral date. It is used for traditional Chinese communities and it guides them to select a lucky day for their weddings and funerals or for inaugurating new business etc. Its limitations were set according to the Lunar.
The Chinese calendar has over 100 versions and each of them reflect the developmental direction of the Chinese calendar. The structure of the calendar was not stagnant, it varied according to the region and depending upon which emperor was in power.
New Year’s Day was initially named as “Yuandan” which means “the first sunrise”. Then in 1913 the Republic of Chinese government proposed to change the name to New Year’s Day.
The Tradition style Chinese New Year
The tradition Chinese New Year was one magnificent event for all Chinese. Every person use to wait for this occasion anxiously throughout the year, even the business life nearly stops and the whole focus was to be on family and house.
It started in the middle of 12th moon and ended on first month of full moon. It was a myth that this time would bring good luck everyone in the family. Elders distribute money amongst children and use to crack firecrackers to scare evil spirits.
On New Year’s Eve, the whole family use to have feast together that includes fish as the last course of the meal. The first five days of the New Year they eat long noodles as a symbol of having long life. On the last day of the Chinese New Year that is 15th of the month, they use to have round dumplings which shaped like moon which is a sign of unity and perfection of family.
Chinese New Year’s Evolution
The Western Gregorian calendar arrived in china in 1582 and it was used by general Chinese people from 1912. From then, Spring festival’s date was changed to January 1.
Under the rule of Chinese communist party leader Mao Zedong, the government followed the new Gregorian calendar in accordance to west but somehow, by the end of 20th century Chinese leaders were more eager to accept the Chinese tradition.
China issued a week long vacation during the spring festival so that people have an opportunity to travel back to their homes to celebrate Chinese New Year.
Earlier in 21st century, the Chinese people use to spent sufficient amount of their income celebrating the Chinese New Year with some traditional cuisines and symbols, however, the actual religious value was no longer there to celebrate this festival; it was just that they use to enjoy it as a holiday.
By the time, now the younger generation of China has no interest in celebrating it as a traditional event, they rather spend time at home surfing internet and sleeping. The actual Celebration of New Year has lost its charm.