Everything to know about Chinese New Year 2022
Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year is being celebrated by the Chinese communities worldwide on February 1 this year. However, it can fall on any date between January 20 and February 21 each year. The day is also known as the Spring Festival of China. Each Lunar New Year is dedicated to different zodiac animals and 2022 marks the year of the tiger.
The Lunar New Year begins after the winter solstice following the rise of the second moon and is believed to date back to the 14th century. According to legends, a monster named Nian used to terrify people at the beginning of each year. However, he was afraid of red color, and firecrackers, which people used to chase him away that eventually marked the celebrations.
The Lunar calendar represents each year through one of 12 zodiac animals that correspond to one of five elements of Earth. The 12 different zodiac animals include ox, tiger, rat, dragon, snake, sheep, monkey, dog, rooster, pig, rabbit, and goat. This year marks the year of the water tiger which comes about every 60 years. The tiger represents bravery, strength, and wisdom.
The Lunar New Year is also quite popular in East Asian countries like Mongolia, South Korea, and North Korea. Different cultures hold different rituals to celebrate the year. Some offer paper and food icons to ancestors while others hang red banners with positive messages in front of their homes. Meeting up with family and friends over some scrumptious food is also a common custom.
As the Lunar New Year kicks in, people start cleaning their houses to ward off sorrows and negative energies and attract good luck and prosperity. People decorate their houses with red banners and give away gifts in red envelopes. The celebrations go on for two weeks. Dancing dragons, fireworks, and boat races make the two-week celebration special and grand.
Food plays an important role in the Lunar New Year as it symbolizes the various elements of luck and prosperity. Steamed fish is a staple and represents abundance and prosperity while Chinese dumplings and spring rolls symbolize wealth and treasure. Longevity noodles indicate happiness and longevity while food made with glutenous rice and yellow ochna flowers symbolizes high income and togetherness.