Six interesting facts about Chinese New Year
1 There’s no set date for Chinese New Year
According to the Lunar calendar, the Spring Festival is on January 1st and lasts until the 15th (the full moon). But when you try to calculate it with the solar (Gregorian) calendar, the date is all over the place. Chinese New Year ranges from January 21 to February 20.
2 The most fireworks are set off in the world that night
As in the myth about Nian, firecrackers are supposed to scare off monsters and bad luck. So people stay up on Chinese New Year’s Eve and set off firecrackers at midnight. In the morning, firecrackers are used again to welcome the new year and good luck. If you’re in China during this time, you’ll probably be able to hear and see the fireworks for at least 3 nights (and it can go on for weeks).
3 The Spring Festival causes the largest human migration in the world
The most important part of Chinese New Year is the family reunion. Everyone should come back home for the New Year’s Eve dinner. But since in modern China, most elderly parents live in villages while their children work in the cities. The migration back home and to go on vacation is called chunyun (春运). The earliest you can buy train tickets is 60 days before. It leads to a mad rush of literally fighting for tickets. In 2015, statistics showed that around 1,000 tickets were sold each second.
4 Singles hire fake boy/girlfriends to take home
You know those nosy relatives during Thanksgiving? It’s even worse in China. Especially since having children and passing down the family name is one of the most important parts in Chinese culture. So they hire a fake boy or a girlfriend to take home.
5 The Chinese decorate everything red for Chinese New Year
Every family will decorate their homes in this color. Firecrackers aren’t the only thing that scared the monster away. Red is also an invaluable weapon, and used in nearly all Chinese New Year decorations.
6 Chinese New Year ends with the Lantern Festival
The full moon on the 15th day of the Spring Festival. Closing of the Spring Festival, which started with Chinese New Year. Lanterns are hanging outside.