Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year, Spring Festival) is a major holiday in not just China but also in other countries in Asia. It is also observed in many other countries, and more and more celebrated in the UK every year, largely because of the growing UK Chinese population. There are more then 400 000 Chinese people live in the UK now, with the growing numbers of Chines students coming every year for studying in the UK. If you want to visit China during the festive season, there are many Chinese New Year Travel deals available.
Interesting facts about the Chinese New Year.
- Chinese New Year is a festival for 1/4 of the world's population. The world’s population is about 7.7 billion for Spring Festival 2020, and over 2 billion celebrate it in some way, even if it’s just a national acknowledgment. These countries have public holidays during Chinese New Year: Mainland China (1.41 billion), Hong Kong (7M), and Macau (0.6M), and nine other Asian countries — Indonesia (264M), The Philippines (105M), Vietnam (95M), South Korea (51M), Malaysia (31M), North Korea (25M), Taiwan (23M), Singapore (5M), and Brunei (0.4M). With the sizable Chinese, Vietnamese, etc. populations who celebrate in cities like New York, London, Vancouver, and Sydney, there are over 2020 million people who acknowledge the festival in 2020.
- The Chinese New Year date changes each year. The date for Chinese New Year changes each year. It always falls between January 21 and February 20 and is determined by the Chinese lunar calendar. Chinese New Year 2020 is on Saturday, January 25. Chines New Year Eve 2020 is on Friday, January 24th.
- The Chinese New Year is also called "Spring Festival". While celebrated in winter, Chinese call their New Year holidays 'Spring Festival' because 'Start of Spring' (4–18 February) is the first of the terms in the traditional solar calendar. 'Start of Spring' marks the end of the coldest part of winter when the Chinese traditionally could look forward to the beginning of spring.
- Chinese New Year starts a new animal's zodiac year. 2020 is a year of the Rat. There are 12 Chinese zodiac animals. In order, the 12 animals are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. 2020 is a year of the Rat.
- The festival is celebrated for 16 days till the Lantern Festival. Traditionally, the 16 days from Chinese New Year's Eve until the Lantern Festival each had a special celebration activity. On the evening of the 15th day of the first lunar month (February 8, 2020), on the night of the full moon, families gather for dinner and go out and see fireworks and light lanterns. Lanterns are put up for decoration, let loose to fly, and floated in rivers.
- Billions of red envelopes are exchanged. Chinese people love the color red. Giving red envelopes is a way to send good wishes and luck (as well as money). Today it has become extremely popular to send family and friends red envelops electronically, something that can be done through WeChat, China's most popular communications app.
- Red decorations are everywhere during the Chinese New Year. Red is a lucky color in China, representing many positive things such as happiness, beauty, vitality, good luck, success, and good fortune. Apart from the red envelopes, decorations and spring couplets hung up outside people's homes are red. Paper cuttings will often be representations of the animal of that year, so the rat for 2020, the Year of the Rat.
- Chinese New Year Presents. There are many superstitions surrounding gifts that you can and can't give during the Chinese New Year period. Pears, for example, are taboo because the Chinese word for 'pears' sounds the same as the word for leaving or 'parting'. Mirrors are a terrible gifting idea throughout much of Asia, not just China, as they are believed to attract malicious ghosts. They are also easily broken, and anything that breaks is considered a bad omen. Other objects that are not allowed as gifts for the Chinese New year: sharp objects, 4 items of anything, shoes, handkerchiefs, umbrellas, clocks, cut flowers, and black and white objects. You can, however, give alcohol, tea, or toys. Some gifts ideas for the Chinese New Year: tea, tea sets, alcohol, or tobacco, scarves, clothing, gloves, and hats (as long as the hat isn't green, because the Chinese for green hat is also a way of saying somebody is jealous!). For kids, apart from the obvious red envelopes, you can give books, toys, or school supplies for Chinese New Year's gifts that are bound to be well received!
- Chinese New Year Food. Certain foods are eaten during the Chinese New Year period purely for their symbolic meaning. This includes dumplings, eaten because they represent wealth. The more dumplings you can eat, the more money you will make in the new year. Fish is eaten because the word for fish in Chinese, sounds like 'surplus'.
- Oranges and tangerines play a large role in Chinese New Year festivities. Oranges and tangerines are displayed because they are believe to bring good luck and fortune due to their pronunciation and characters. The Chinese for orange (and tangerine) sounds the same as the Chinese for 'success' One of the ways of writing tangerine contains the Chinese character for. This explains why oranges and tangerines are seen everywhere during this period, and also why they make great gifts!
Chinese New Year is a great time to visit China!
Chinese New Year is a great time to come to China to experience the festivities. It is also by far the busiest period in China, especially up to a few days before Chinese New Year and from around 8 days after. Book your tour as early as possible if you are looking to be in China during Chinese New Year.
Check out the latest Hotels, Holidays and Travel deals to choose the best Chinese New Year Travel Deals. Our top reccomendations would be Travelsphere.co.uk and Wendy Wu Tours . And dont forget to register with Voucher Shares - the UK No 1 Green Voucher Codes website, to stay updated with the latest Top Deals and Offers.
Tanya Larsen, mother of 3, keen gardener, world traveller and a business owner
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