Spanning 15 days, the Lunar New Year is a time to rejoice and reconnect with the family and friends. So, as you get set to celebrate the most important event on the Asian calendar, we bring to you 10 interesting facts about Chinese New Year.
Every Chinese New Year, more than one billion people travel across the world to their hometowns via planes, trains, buses and cars. In China, this phenomenon is known as Chunyan, and it is the world’s largest annual human migration.
As soon as the clock strikes midnight on Lunar New Year’s Eve, open every door and window in the house – this allows the old year to go out and the good vibes of the new year to come in.
On the first day of the Lunar New Year, it’s a Buddhist tradition that no animal or fish should be killed, so many families eat a vegetarian meal called jai, or Buddha’s Delight, consisting of 18 ingredients. Each of the 18 ingredients symbolises something special. For instance, the lotus seed is eaten to encourage the birth of male offspring, black moss seaweed is eaten to gain wealth, and bamboo shoots and consumed for wellness.
And make sure you’ve prepared your jai in advance! Using a knife on the first days of the new year “cuts off” all the good luck for the coming year.
According to ancient superstitions, it’s best to stay at home on Day 3 of the Lunar New Year. Known as Chi Kou Ri, the day of the red mouth, this is not a good day to socialise, as you may end up quarreling with family and friends. Other traditions state that you shouldn’t clean the house, make a fire or eat rice on the third day.
The 5th day of the Chinese New Year is known as Po Wu. Traditionally, people celebrate with a large banquet and fireworks to draw the attention of the God of Wealth. Make a big batch of dumplings, which represent gold ingots.
You get a birthday, and you get a birthday, and you get a birthday. The the seventh day of the Lunar New Year celebration is Renri, the birthday of all humans. According to Chinese traditions, the goddess Nuwa created human beings from yellow clay on the seventh day. Cross your fingers for good weather on renri, as it’s believed this will grant good luck to all people on earth.
People refrain from eating tofu during Chinese New Year since it is white and the white colour symbolises death and misfortune in the Chinese culture.
Fresh flowers are placed in and around the houses to symbolise rebirth and growth. Fill your home with plum blossom for courage and hope, and the water narcissus for good luck and prosperity.
Dragon and lion dances are traditionally performed during Lunar New year to pray for good luck and drive away evil spirits.
Create your own Chinese New Year tradition by cooking an original recipe for our Chinese New Year Cooking Contest. Cook, Snap & Win for your chance to win a trip for four to Thailand valued at up to $29,000!
Find your nearest Asian Store