You would think after 11 years I would be used to the spring festival celebrations here… don’t get me wrong… I know to stock up on food and stuff.. because everything will be a ghost town for about a week or so… and I know that the trains, planes and buses will be over loaded with people traveling all over Asia…. but the one thing I can never get used to is the freaking Fireworks….
I mean come on China… I had forgotten how much the small cities love to shoot fireworks for basically every occasion … Birthdays, Grand Openings, New babies, New Houses, deaths , marriages…. weekends…. but during the Spring Festival holiday it basically sounds like a war zone. Night and day, fireworks are shot off in the thousands. It, of course, includes drunken reverie and someone doing something stupid with said fireworks….like putting them in their butts, hair, mouth… and even hurting animals with them. smh
However, I thought it would be interesting to talk about some unusual facts about Chinese New Year … you may not know.
- Chinese New Year is never on the same day....The Chinese New Year lands on the first day of the lunar month and continues for 15 days, until the moon is full. Each of the 15 days of the celebrations has a particular role, such as visiting family on one day or eating certain foods on another day.
- Every Chinese New Year, over a billion people board planes, trains, boats, buses, and cars. Known as Chunyan, it is the world’s largest annual human migration. During that time it is nearly impossible to get tickets, therefore, you need to plan far in advance and be ready to pay almost triple the price.
- On the stroke of midnight on the Chinese New Year, every door and window in a Chinese house is opened to allow the old year to go out. Now, seeing as most Chinese people usually have their doors and windows open all year to let in “fresh” air. It is pretty common that they would try to let out the bad year also.
- The Chinese New Year has been celebrated for more than 4,000 years. Farmers started the holiday in China to mark the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It was also a festival to honor ancestors as well as other holy or sacred beings. That’s why most people will travel back to their hometown villages to burn paper money, or pictures of things that their ancestors may need in the other life. They will burn photos of iPhone, cars, houses, etc.
- An old Chinese belief says that the second day of the new year is the birthday of all dogs and that people should be extra kind to dogs that day. So, I bought Mocha, our dog, a couple new chew balls for his Spring Festival gift.
- It doesn’t matter when someone was actually born—on the Chinese New Year, everyone turns a year older. Now this mess is a bit crazy. My husband’s birthday is in November, however, come February he seems to think he gets another birthday. So, pretty much every Chinese person has two birthdays and is a year younger than they say they are. I know .. confusing isn’t it.
- In China, due to the fact that when older unmarried children go home they get drilled about why they don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend by family members; it is becoming increasingly popular to hire a “fake” girlfriend or boyfriend to take home during the Chinese New Year to stave off parental pressure to get married. For as little as $20 or as much as $600 a day, college students rent themselves out. It seems to be a good business.
- To prepare for Chinese New Year, people clean their houses and sweep floors to get rid of dirt, dust, and bad luck or huiqi, which are inauspicious “breaths” that have been collected over the old year. Cleaning also was meant to appease the gods who would come down to earth to make inspections. I don’t think this is much different than what we used to do when I was a kid. Every New Year with my grandmother we would also clean everything for the new year.
- During the Chinese New Year, noodles are not cut, as a way to represent long life. This is also done on birthdays so that person will have a long life.
- During the Chinese New Year celebrations, fireworks play a significant role. However, there is a downside. In 2012, fireworks caused over 6,000 accidents on the first day of the holiday alone. I told you, these people go crazy for fireworks.
There are many more interesting things about the Chinese New Years Celebration that you should know about but I’m sure the internet can fill you in on many more. As for me, I guess I better go out and buy some fireworks…. you know .. when in Rome….
until next time……