As January comes to an end, many of us are settling into the New Year, getting over the Christmas Holiday and trying hard to maintain your New Year Resolutions. However, on the other side of the globe, the New Year celebrations are yet to begin. Unlike the Western New Year traditions which barely last 2 days, the Chinese celebrate New Year over 15 days. During this period, the Chinese will indulge in traditions with the festive period ending with the Lantern Festival. The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is celebrated on different dates each year. This year the first day will fall on the 5th February. The date is determined by the First New Moon of the year, hence why Chinese New Year is also often referred to as the Lunar New Year.
During those 15 days, families will have plenty of activities planned after spending the Lunar New Year’s Eve and Day with immediate family; People will then start visiting friends and relatives. The Chinese use this time to reflect and hopefully bring some good fortune and luck to their upcoming year. Whereas the West will only have the one bank holiday on New Year’s Day, with the possibility of a day or two off after, it isn’t until 8th Day of the festive period that Chinese people will start returning to work.
Traditions and Beliefs
During this festive period, the Chinese will indulge in traditions and activities to prepare themselves for the upcoming New Year. On the run up to New Year’s Day, some traditions which take place are cleaning and decorating your house ahead of the festive period. As many shops will be closed, it is custom to stock your cupboards so you do not go without.
The Chinese New Year is a time for good food and spending time with your family. People will often travel far and wide to be with their families around Chinese New Year. It’s also a time of good fortune, happiness and wealth. The Chinese New Year focuses heavily on eating. Food does play a big part in the Chinese New Year. Most families will take part in a large family meal on New Year’s Eve which is often referred to as the Reunion Dinner. This is believed to be the most important meal of the year as it brings families together. The Chinese will often eat foods which are yellow or golden, the colours of prosperity.
One of the biggest traditions is setting off fireworks; it is believed this stems from the myth regarding a monster called Nian. The monster is believed to have terrorised villagers on New Year’s Eve causing them to hide in their homes. However, according to legend, one village decided they had had enough and scared the monster off by setting off firecrackers. This began the traditions of fireworks being set off during the New Year’s Celebrations.
There are also some superstitions which the Chinese believe will bring bad luck to their New Year. Simple tasks such as eating porridge and getting a haircut are avoided during the festive period as it seen to decrease the good luck they have accumulated. Another activity which is avoided is cleaning on New Year’s Day to avoid sweeping away any luck you have obtained over the festive period. You should avoid any breakages or accidents in your household, you are to remain in a happy and festive mood as crying can create bad luck for the upcoming year. Children are to be hushed immediately by any means necessary if they are crying. This usually means children are rarely punished during the New Year’s Celebrations. The Chinese also believe you should avoid any families who have experienced any bereavement in the month leading up to Chinese New Year. As severe as they sound, these traditions are always taken light heartedly. As they have been passed down through the generations, it has almost become second nature. Chinese New Year is a joyous occasion and it is really more a time for families to get together and see in the New Year.
Many believe that how you celebrate the New Year will carry forth into the year. The festive period is a time to amass some good fortune. During Chinese New Year, people will often be mindful of their actions to avoid any negativity which will hinder their upcoming year. These may be a simple as the way they dress to the foods they eat. It is believed one of the luckiest things a person can do during Chinese New Year is to give gifts. It is custom to give red envelopes containing money to loved ones. These red envelopes are supposed to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits. It is best to gift in the colours of red, yellow and gold as these are seen as the colours of wealth and prosperity.
Year of the Pig
In popular Western culture, you will often see people follow their Astrological zodiac signs. People believe they can determine personality traits and even predict the future using these star signs. Western Astrology is based on constellations, the Chinese Zodiac is said to have been started due to a myth that God summoned all creatures to participate in a race while developing a calendar.
The Chinese Zodiac signs are actually represented by animals. With 12 animals in total, each year celebrates a different animal, running in 12 year cycles. 2019 is the Year of the Pig. If you were born in the years 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, then your Chinese zodiac sign is a Pig. Similar to astrological zodiac signs, whether you believe it or not, each Chinese Zodiac sign has personality traits. According to the Chinese Zodiac sign, ‘Pigs’ are seen to have beautiful personalities and are blessed with good fortune throughout their life. You have heard of the phrase all talk no action; well ‘pigs’ are the complete opposite. They are seen to have quite realistic views.
‘Pigs’ are seen as optimistic people. They will often seek out positions of power and status. As strong as their personalities may be, they are gentle, humble people. Their easy going personalities often allow them to build trustworthy relationships with others. ‘Pigs’ often are energetic and enthusiastic, even with the smallest of job, their personalities will shine through. They are not wasteful spenders however they will often enjoy life to the full. The will often treat their selves, but they use this as motivation to work harder. They feel like they need to earn their treats.
Why not treat yourself or a loved one today with something from our Chinese New Year range. Select now from our PAMP Lunar Series ‘Year of The Pig’ range. Available in 5 Gram Gold Bars, 1 Ounce Gold Bars & 8 x 1 Gram Multigram Gold Bars. Also available now are the Perth Mint & Royal Mint One Ounce ‘Year of the Pig’ Coins. Available in both Gold Coins & Silver Coins. If you are spoilt for choice, view our Chinese New Year range here.