You probably know that Chinese New Year involves lots of red, lots of delicious food and lots of noise.
…making it one of the most widely celebrated festivals in the world! From China to Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines, South Korea, Macau, Brunei and everywhere in the world with a Chinese community, Chinese New Year (CNY) is dedicated to honouring deities, family reunions and preparing well for the New Year ahead.
NEXT: The world’s largest annual human migration →
For the 1.3 million people who work in China’s cities, the national holiday is the only time of the year they get to go home and reunite with much-missed families. In 2016, a reported 2.91 billion journeys were made during the CNY period – about 2.48 billion by road, 332 million by railway, 54.55 million trips by air and 42.8 million by water.
(In comparison, less than 100 million people travel more than 50 miles during the Christmas holidays in the US, says the American Automobile Association.)
NEXT: Every Chinese New Year starts with an animal zodiac →
Each new year is named after one of 12 animals in a repeating Chinese zodiac cycle. The animals are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.
Legend has it these animals were the only ones to respond to an invitation from God to visit him and this is the order in which they arrived at his home. People are believed to exhibit some of the particular characteristics of the animal year they are born in, flattering or otherwise!
The Chinese Zodiac exerts a strong influence on many decisions, ranging from when to get married, have a child, or even a ‘good’ day to have a haircut. Find out your Year of the Dog Horoscope here, and how lucky in love you’ll be in 2018 here.
NEXT: Celebrate your birthday on the 7th day of CNY! →
In Chinese belief, the 7th day of the Lunar New Year is when all mankind was created and, for this reason, is called ‘Everyone’s Birthday’. So, if ever you needed a reason to celebrate your birthday twice in a year, this is it!
NEXT: The last day of CNY is also the Chinese Valentine’s Day →
The 15th day is also traditionally when single women would throw mandarin oranges into the sea or river in the hope of finding a good husband. The belief was that whomever picked up your orange would be your suitor. Contrary to popular belief, this tradition did not originate in China but is said to have started, somewhat surprisingly, in Penang!
(Find out why oranges, pineapples and other auspicious symbols are so popular to display this time of year.)
NEXT: The Chinese Lunar New Year is a festival celebrated by one-fifth of the world’s population →
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