This year the Chinese New Year will begin on Saturday, Jan 28.
As per the Chinese Zodiac calendar, 2017 will be the Year of Red Fire Chicken or the Year of Rooster.
While the Chinese across the world will be celebrating the occasion with food, fireworks, new clothes, red lanterns and lots of festivities, here are 10 fun facts that you might like to know about the Chinese New Year:
1. The date for the Chinese New Year varies! The Chinese hold their celebrations anytime between Jan 21 and Feb 20 depending on the Chinese lunar calendar.
2. The Chinese New Year celebration, that runs for 15 days, is the longest festival of the Chinese. Not only the date is a public holiday in China but in many countries like Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.
3. Although celebrated mid-winter, the celebration is actually called “Spring Festival” as per the ancient solar calendar that marks the period from Feb 4-18 as the start of spring.
4. The Chinese people always clean their house thoroughly on the Chinese New Year as it is said to bring good luck.
5. The celebrations are mainly family-oriented and take place at home with relatives bonding over meals and special treats like candied crab apple on a stick, besides exchanging gifts.
6. Traditionally, the younger family members are given money in red envelops rather than other items as gifts by their older relatives as the Chinese believe this reinforces positive feelings.
7. The Chinese homes are decorated in red for this festival as it is considered a lucky colour. Most Chinese houses hang chun lians (spring couplets written in red paper strips) at their doors that is said to bring good health and fortune.
8. The Chinese New Year celebrations end with a Lantern festival where beautiful red lanterns not only adorn houses and streets but also Chinese families come together to release sky lanterns and wish for a happy and prosperous year ahead.
9. At the stroke of midnight on the Chinese New Year, every Chinese house opens its windows and doors to allow the old year go away.
10. According to Chinese beliefs, the second day of the Chinese New Year is the birthday of all dogs and hence all Chinese people tend to be caring and loving towards canines on that day.