How much do you know about Chinese New Year? Learn more about the holiday that is coming up on Feb. 8 with these five facts.
Many of us have already celebrated the new year more than a month ago, but some have yet to celebrate it. The Chinese New Year is on Monday, Feb. 8 this year, and some people who celebrate go all out. Here are five things you might not have known about this celebration and what exactly it means.
1. Chinese New Year is determined by the lunar calendar and lasts more than one day.
Chinese people celebrate the new year between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20, according to China Highlights. Chinese New Year is never on the same day like it is for New Year’s Day on Jan. 1. Instead, the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, which means that it follows the sun and the moon. It indicates both the moon phases and the time of the solar year.
Chinese New Year celebration lasts 15 days, compared to the secular one-day celebration.
2. Chinese New Year uses more fireworks than any other annual event in the world.
Sorry, America, but Fourth of July is not the day the most fireworks are used. It’s Chinese New Year. Don’t take it too hard though, because China makes 90 percent of the world’s fireworks.
3. Red envelopes are given to children or adults without jobs.
Similar to getting money for Christmas from your grandparents, family members give children and unmarried adults who are unemployed red envelopes with money inside, according to History.com. These red envelopes are called “hong bao” in Mandarin.
4. Chinese New Year is also called the Spring Festival.
The majority of Americans celebrate the new year in winter, but Chinese New Year is celebrated as a kickoff for spring. Many people clean their homes for good luck, similar to the traditional “spring cleaning,” according to K-International.
5. 2016 is the year of the monkey.
Each year starts a new animal zodiac year. This year is the year of the monkey. There are a total of 12 animals, and each year it rotates. In addition to an animal, each year represents one of the five elements: fire, water, wood, gold and earth. 2016 is the Fire Monkey year. When someone is born in this year, they are said to take the characteristics of the fire monkey: ambition, adventure and irritability.