It’s almost Chinese New Year!
Here are some fun facts about Chinese New Year you might want to know:
- Chinese New Year is a major holiday in not just China but also other countries in Asia: Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, South Korea, Malaysia, North Korea, Taiwan, Brunei, Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau.
- The date varies! Yep, the date for Chinese New Year changes each year. The date is determined by the Chinese lunar calendar.
- Chinese calls New Year as the Spring Festival (春节- chun jie)
- Every Chinese New Year starts a new animal’s zodiac year. There are total 12 animals in zodiac cycle.
- Chinese legend holds that Buddha asked all animals to meet him on New Year’s Day and named a year after each of the twelve animals that came.
- Billions of red envelopes or called “hong bao” are exchanged! Red envelopes with cash are given out from older to younger, and bosses to employees. In recent years, the gift-giving has gone digital.
- 200 million mainland Chinese travel long distance for these holidays just so they can spend the holiday with their family.
- The world’s biggest annual fireworks usage. Fireworks are used to scare the evil spirits and demons away.
- One of the traditional treats is candied crab-apple on a stick! And it’s delicious!
Here are some wish phases you may want to learn: 新年快乐 (Xin nian kuai le), happy New Year; fill with good health 身体健康 (shen ti jian kang); success in career事业有成 (shi ye you cheng); happiness and prosperity 恭喜发财 (gong xi fa cai). If you want your red envelope, you definitely will want to learn to say gong xi fa cai.