Chinese New Year 2571 falls on January 25, 2020. The day will be celebrated by ethnic Chinese in a festive and joyous way as it is a New Year’s Day. Every Chinese family will deck homes with the color red. It is also applied to clothing, lanterns, and angpao.
According to legend, there lived a man-eating giant (Nian) from the mountains which appeared in late winter to feed on crops, livestock and even villagers. To protect themselves, the villagers put food on their doorsteps at the beginning of each year. They believed by doing so, Nian would eat the food and would not attack the villagers or steal livestock or crops. One day, by chance, people saw that Nian had fled in fear after an encounter with a little boy dressed in red. Villagers latter believed that Nian was afraid of the red color. So every time a New Year is coming, they hung red lanterns and paper rolls on every window and door. They also set fireworks to scare away Nian. Then this tradition developed into the New Year celebration, which they called Guo Nian, “Welcoming the New Year”, which literally means “Send Away Nian”.
Here’s some other interesting facts about Chinese New Year :
• Children receive lucky money in a red envelope
Also called angpao, the tradition of giving angpao began during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. As the banknotes at that time were very high in nominal terms, usually people gave 100 coins tied in red ropes in the hope that the child would live long and healthy. This money is supposed to help transfer the fortune from the elders to the kids. Not only that, but now angpao can also be given between bosses and employees, co-workers and friends.
• Barongsai Dance
Traditional Chinese belief that the lion is a symbol of courage, stability and superior. It is said that the lion dance is performed to ward off evil spirits, monsters and ghosts, as they afraid of loud noises.
• House Cleaning before Chinese New Year
It means getting rid of the bad luck away and make room for the good. Usually the cleaning is only done before the Chinese New Year as cleaning on the day of Chinese New Year will throw away your luck throughout the year. So, no sweeping or throwing out garbage allowed on new year’s day!
• Every year has a zodiac animal
Western horoscopes include 12 zodiacs, one for each month. There are 12 Chinese zodiacs as well, but the animal is for the entire year. 2020 is the year of the rat. Some of the animals aren’t normally well-liked in Chinese culture, but as a zodiac, their positive traits are bestowed on people born that year. They play a much bigger role than in Western cultures. It is related to your career, health, and relationship success.
• Special Chinese New Year’s foods in Indonesia
There are variety of foods that are presented at the dinner table when the celebration takes place. Those foods are believed to have special meaning. Milkfish pindang : Pronounced as “Yu” in Mandarin, similar to another word denoting abundance. Fish dishes is always presented last as a symbol of good fortune that will come abundantly. Usually, fish is served head to tail, where the head is often directed to the guest of honor in the banquet.Kue keranjang : is also known as Nian Gao, a cake made of glutinous rice and sugar, with a chewy and sticky texture. The cake is intended as a dish to please the Furnace God (Cau Kun Kong) to bring good stories to the King of Heaven (Jade Hong Siang Te). The round shape symbolized that families who celebrate it will always be united, harmonious and determined to face the coming year.Orange : This is called “Chi Zhe”, where the word “Chi” means fortune and “Zhe” means fruit. Orange is believed to be the fruit of fortune. Generally Lokam orange are the ones used to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The bright yellow color similar with gold color is trusted to bring wealth.
Happy Chinese New Year! Gong Xi Xin Nian!