The Year of the Rat
The 2020 Chinese New Year will be celebrated beginning this Saturday, January 25th. This year is the Year of the Rat.
The start of the New Year for China follows the traditional Chinese calendar and occurs when the new moon begins, for this reason the date varies each year. The celebration is more than just a single day of festivities, it lasts for at least 15 days and is the most important time of year for Chinese culture. This year’s festivities will last until February 8th.
The New Year is also called the spring festival, because it marks the end of the coldest days for the people of China as they prepare to welcome spring.
Family and the reunion of family is a very important feature of the holiday, therefore a large migration occurs as Chinese people from all over the world travel home for the festivities. This makes it very difficult to buy airplane tickets for destinations that are celebrating the holiday.
Unlucky behavior is taboo during the New Year. For example, showering, throwing out garbage and sweeping are not allowed because it is believed you will wash away/get rid of the good luck. A large firework celebration is also held on New Year’s Eve because it is believed the fireworks drive away evil.
The Lantern Festival marks the end of the New Year celebrations and is always the first night of the full moon. On this final day the people set off paper lanterns into the sky which are to promote peace and forgiveness.