Fun Facts: It’s All About the Chinese New Year
By: Antonia Ava
What Does a Festival Represent to the Community?
Harvest of happy times, holidays, no work or business and even no stress. The time for zeal and zest is the happiest time of all. It doesn't matter whether you are a business entity or even a customer, everyone needs a break from their daily regimes.
Trending business earns massive sales, on such occasions, either its Christmas or thanksgiving, every occasion is celebrated with a warm heart and is the perfect time for gross results. But once in a while, you do need breaks. Even the translation agencies like Mars Translation who excels at their Chinese translation services are also entitled to enjoy the festivities of the Chinese New Year.
Before you begin the festivities, let’s takes a look at some of the interesting facts you weren’t familiar with before;
• A.K.A Spring Festival
Chinese New Year is unlike your traditional new year. The notion represents the time of spring’s arrival and henceforth named as Spring Festival. Winter prevails with spring just around the corner and the Chinese celebrate the festivities for the beginning of spring.
The usual festivities start from January 21 and February 20 (depending on the lunar calendar). The celebrations last for 15 days, making it the longest event in the Chinese calendar. But one thing to remember is that the Chinese New Year starts with a different date every year!
• Which Animal Are You?
Surprisingly, each Chinese year represents an animal.
In total, there are 12 Chinese zodiac animals; rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, goat, snake, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. For instance, 2020 is the year of the rat.
It is believed that each animal represents the personality trait of every human born in that specific year. Like Rat represents personality traits such as quick-witted, resourceful, versatile and kind. So if you are born in the year of Rat, you are bound to have any one of these (or all) personality traits in you.
Did you know: zodiac animals were used to measure time?
• Role of Oranges and Tangerines
Similar to zodiac animals representing the Chinese New Year, oranges and tangerines are displayed in a massive quantity. Fruit vendors especially, earn a lot during the festivities. According to popular belief, both of these fruits are supposed to bring good luck and fortune.
In the Chinese context, orange technically stands for "success" and tangerine stands for "luck". So if you do visit China on a business trip during the festivities, don't be surprised when you see streets full of oranges and tangerines.
• New Year Rituals
As the festival nears, people take a keen interest to clean their homes in earnest. Considered to bring good luck, the house is swept with ultra-care to get rid of any bad luck and negative vibes. If a person does fail to do so than it brings great disrespect and brings dishonor to the family.
Chinese are very particular about their traditions. Besides cleaning and sweeping, family gatherings are comprised of zeal for food as well. However, after the end of the celebration, houses are not swept until the end of February to be exact.
• Code Red
If you are aware of Chinese culture and traditions you must be aware of the fact, that every display is as bright as sun. Chinese festivals are synonymously colorfully vibrant. Houses are covered in red decorations. Color Red has a symbolic meaning for the people of China. According to their belief, it brings good luck.
Banners are hanged on the walls with peculiar wishes alongside Chinese lanterns dangling in the streets inside and outside at the houses. Messages for good health and fortune (Hui Chun) are painted on the Chunlian (strips of red paper).
• Exchanging Gifts
It is an exciting time for the young members of the family. Why? Because they get red envelopes. These envelopes held symbolic importance because they are filled with cash. The older relatives handovers the red envelopes as a gift for the occasion. An old-time tradition stands tall to date.
Not only kids but employees are also entitled to bonuses on this auspicious occasion. Exchanging gifts brings the two generations closer, and obviously, the gifts are considered to be valuable in terms of good fortune.
• World-Renowned Fireworks
At the time of New Year, fireworks displays are the most spectacular time. People gather in massive crowds just to watch the fireworks. But just so you know, you may need to hire Chinese translation services to read out the manuals before installing the fireworks crazy act. Why? More than 90% of the world’s fireworks are manufactured by China.
Moreover, the world's largest fireworks are displayed at the Chinese New Year's! Another traditional belief is that fireworks scare away the evil spirits and ghosts luring to enter your homes. So it's all in good faith.
• Array of Foods
Chinese loves to cook, so do expect a table full of dumplings (represents wealth according to tradition).
Special treats such as fish, chicken or duck are cooked as well. But dumplings are held in special regard, and they bring more wealth to host and the year is supposed to bring luck as well. Likewise, fish also has a symbolic meaning in Chinese culture, Surplus and seafood is eaten with great zeal.
Moreover, spring rolls, Nian Gao (rice cake), fruits, tangyuan (sweet rice balls), etc. are served on the table.
• Wish and Greet
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Eid Mubarak, etc. are just of the few ways of greeting a specific occasion.
Each occasion has its special wish and greetings. Likewise, Guo Nian Hao is the most commonly used greeting which is similar to the traditional wish “Happy New Year”. Originally, Nian in Chinese means “passing a year”.
However, Chinese myths are quite popular, according to one, Nian was a cruel beast (a monster) that would consume livestock and kids but it was scared of the color red (hence it represents a symbolic meaning to chase away evil spirits as mentioned above).
• Longest Holiday So Far
Luckily for kids, they get to stay at home! Even employees working year-round get days off, apparently making it the longest holiday in China.
Usually, offices are closed for 7-12 days, but luckily for the business clients, Mars Translation is available even at the time of Chinese New Year providing excellent Chinese translation services, unlike any other business. People gather back to their roots, regardless of the world schedules and spend time with family.
Now wasn’t that interesting enough?Chinese New Year is like a national birthday for everyone. Likewise, businesses can take a long break after working restless hours. Either you are an employer, employee or even a customer, this occasion holds extreme importance for every one of you. Despite the celebrations, Mars Translation is here for you.