January 21 : Chinese New Year 2023: Chinese New Year, otherwise known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is grand celebration of festivals by the people of China across the world with much glam and pomp. Starting from the Little Year, followed by the Spring Festival, and ending with the Lantern Festival, Chinese New Year happens to be one of the most important holidays for the people of China. The 15-day festival that commences with the sighting of the New Moon marks the beginning of the lunisolar Chinese Calendar. This year, Chinese New Year falls on January 22nd, 2023.
Since the Chinese New Year is celebrated with the sighting of the new moon, the festival falls on different dates every year with respect to the Gregorian Calendar. In 2023, the celebrations begin with the Little Year on January 14th, 2023, the Chinese New Year or the Spring Festival on January 22nd, 2023, and the Lantern Festival on February 5th, 2023.
In the Chinese culture, the zodiac system is a cycle of animal signs that repeats in a particular order every twelve years. Legend has it that the order in which the animals appear on the Chinese zodiac cycle was determined by a race called the Great Race. Every year is associated with an animal from the Chinese Zodiac, starting from one Chinese New Year followed to the next, ie, each Chinese New Year has a zodiac sign. Each zodiac animal is characterized by a unique set of traits and personalities, and it is believed that the personalities of the animals correspond to that of the people born in their years.The zodiac animals in the order of occurrence are as follows: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. Chinese animal year of 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit (Year of Yin Water Rabbit).
Streets and houses are adorned in red lanterns and scrolls, and people, especially elders of the family gift their children money in gold-inscribed red envelops. Fireworks are a major attraction during Chinese New Year celebrations. People cloak in red clothes on this day as they believe that the color attracts health, fortune and good luck. As traditions go, people clean their houses on New Year's eve to ward off everything evil from the past year and to start afresh. Red couplets and new year pictures are pasted on doors. They honor their dead by offering sacrifices; they add an extra glass and plate for them at the dining table. Family reunions are a major theme during the holidays.
Their traditions also follow superstitions when they do not sweep their house on New Year's day, in the belief that they will wash their luck away. They do not wash their clothes and hair that day or else they wash away their fortune. They do not feast on porridge for breakfast, or they will be poor for the rest of the year.
A season to manifest love, health, good luck and companionship, Chinese New Year is a celebration one looks forward to.
Happy Chinese New Year!
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