The Chinese New Year: 15-Day Celebration to Fright Away the Nian!

By ,

Photo Credit:'s real444

The Spring Festival, the literal translation of the celebration of Chinese New Year, is the most important social occasion and holiday in China. The celebrations were born out of fear and myth. Legend spoke of the wild beast Nian (year) that appeared at the end of each year, attacking and killing villagers. People used loud noises and bright lights to scare the beast away that led to the beginning of Chinese New Year. Celebrations to usher out the old year and bring forth prosperity of the new one; therefore, often included firecrackers, fireworks, red clothes and decorations. Innumerable survey resources are available that are helpful to identify and analyze China’s community traditions.

Chinese New Year, also called the Lunar New Year, is an annual 15 days festival in China and for the Chinese communities around the world. The year begins with the new moon that occurs between the mid of January and February, according to Western calendars. Festivities last until the following full moon. It is that time of the year when all the family members get united. As the Chinese culture is based on strong family ties, every Chinese wishes to get back home for the Lunar New Year Eve. They get excited by the possibilities and dynamics of shopping, and things they will buy for their families for the year’s biggest celebration.

Every year, the Spring Festival travel period is the peak season for travelling for Chinese to visit their hometown. In 2011, about 2.556 billion passenger’s trips were taken during the Spring Festival of the year. According to the Ministry of transport, the figure is expected to rush up by 11.6% every year. In an article published by China Highlights, it is estimated that about 42 million people will return home by plane this year, and 260 million people by train, to be a part of the 40 days long Spring Festival.

In 1912, after the adoption of the Western calendar, the Chinese nation started celebrating January 1 as a New Year’s Day. However, China hasn’t given up on celebrating the traditional Chinese New Year either. Also, the Spring Festivities do not end until the 15th day after that. Each day has its own reason to be celebrated.

Day 1: The first day of the festival can be traced back to the Han Dynasty (206 B.C- 220 A.D.). It is the day when Chinese people visit their family and friends, particularly, the senior and old members of their family. Another important tradition is to set-off firecrackers that would drive out evil spirits. At the same time, Chinese believe that the red color of fire crackers will bring good luck to them.

Day 2: The second day of the New Year called “Kai Nian” (i.e. beginning of New Year) is to offer sacrifices to the God of fortune. They believe it would bring prosperity and success in their business. Additionally, the day is often referred to as “Ying Xu Ri” which means “day to welcome sons-in-law”. This day married daughters visit their parental home with their husbands. The family would spend the day with their daughters and son-in-laws.

Day 3: The third day of the Chinese New year commonly known as “Chi Kou Ri” (the day of red mouth) is the day to stay at home. Older members of the family who are superstitious believe that a red mouth would result in arguments and quarrel. They also call this day “Chi Gou Ri” meaning (the day of red dog). Traditionally, anyone who runs into the red dog will encounter bad things.

Day 4: The fourth day is an auspicious one for Chinese, also called “Yang Ri” (the Day of Goat). Chinese welcome their gods by lighting candles and offering sacrifices. Families clean their house and throw away all the rubbish that symbolizes they get rid of all the bad luck and poverty for the year.

Day 5: The fifty day of the New Year is called “Po Wu.” Po Wu is considered as the birthday of the god of fortune. People celebrate this day by shooting-off firecrackers to attract the attention of god of fortune. They believe doing so will bring good fortune in the future.

Day 6: The sixth day “Ma Ri” (the day of horse) is celebrated to get rid of poverty. People throw away their ragged clothes and other dirty things to send away poverty.

Day 7: According to the Chinese Nv Wa, a goddess in Chinese mythology, created the world and human beings on the seventh day, Ren Ri (the day of human) of the New Year. People celebrate the birth of common men in different ways.

Day 8: Millet has been an important crop in the ancient China. According to traditions the eight day of the New Year is the birthday of millet. It is believed that if rains on the 8th day then the whole year will be of poor harvest. This day is celebrated to remember the importance of agriculture, and cherish food.

Day 9: The Jade Emperor also known as the Yu Huang, identified as the God of Heaven, is believed to be born on the ninth day of the New Year. Grand ceremonies are held on this day along with offering sacrifices to the Jade Emperor.

Day 10: “Shi Bu” tenth day of the New Year is celebrated as the birthday of the god of stone. People are forbidden to move any stone this day. According to the Chinese tradition, cutting of mountain for rock will destroy the crops.

Day 11: In Binyang County people refer to the eleventh day of the New Year as “Pao Long Jie” meaning the Dragon Dance Festival. The largest dragon dance is held at the Bingyang County.

Day 12: Since people eat rich food, from the New Year’s Eve to the eleventh day, so on this day they take simple diet and cleanse their digestive systems.

Day 13: The thirteenth day of the New Year is to appreciate the lantern. This day is specifically celebrated in the southern part of China in Nantong City.

Day 14: The fourteenth day is mainly devoted for the next day’s preparations. People visit the lantern fair for buying the lantern that will be lightened the following day.

Day 15: A grand festival is held in China to celebrate the last day of the New Year. The streets are crowded with people to enjoy the dragon dance parade. It would last for a whole morning and afternoon.

This year, the Chinese New Year falls on 19th February 2015. Chinese will travel to their homes to meet their loved ones and celebrate the festival. “Chunyun” (Spring Festival rush) is sometimes referred to as world’s largest human migration, putting huge stress on transportation system. It begins around 15 days prior to the New Year Day and lasts for around 40 days. China Daily has published in an article that around 2.8 billion individual passenger trips are expected to be made this year. If you are planning your trip back to your hometown, make sure you have already booked your tickets!

About The Author

Kelvin Stiles is a tech enthusiast and works as a marketing consultant at SurveyCrest – FREE online survey software and publishing tools for academic and business use. He is also an avid blogger and a comic book fanatic.