Chinese Lunar New Year has been an integral part of every country with significant amount of Chinese communities around the world. In which it has been closely observed and celebrated, including Singapore. But what really is Chinese New Year? And how come the Chinese get to celebrate New Year twice?
Chinese New Year, or also known as ‘Lunar New Year’, marks the beginning of a Chinese calendar which usually falls either late January or early February. In Singapore, CNY 2016 falls on Monday, 8th February and is a two-day national public holiday. Although the celebration doesn’t end after this but extends to 15 days from the first day of the festive period. This particular holiday is very important and grandly celebrated as New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day as well as Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in western countries.
2016 is the Year of the Red Monkey
It was believed in ancient times that Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve animals came and Buddha named a year after each one of them so that people who are born in each animal’s year would exhibit the same personality traits of that particular animal.
For this year, it is the year of the Red Monkey which represents growth and progress. Many astrologers believe that this is a good year to take calculated risks, as global economic growth is expected. This year’s lucky colors are blue, black and grey and is believed that anyone or anything associated with the water element is auspicious.
The Legend of Chinese New Year
Legend has it that CNY is celebrated to commemorate the victory over Nian, a savage beast that used to attack the village. One day, the villagers saw that the beast was scared off by a child wearing red. Ever since then, the colour red has been associated with celebration and victory. Firecrackers were also lighted up as it was believed that loud noises and bright lights scare the beast away.
Reunion dinners are the magnet of the season that brings all family members together. It is considered the most important part of the celebration. Anything round in shape is a symbol of completeness thus the family reunions are always held in round tables as a symbol of unity within the family and that it enables everyone to be close to each other in harmony; and to ensure that everyone will have a fresh start with the New Year, families take this opportunity to make peace with everyone.
Yusheng or most commonly known as the prosperity toss is made up of raw fish salad and other ingredients that connotes prosperity. It is believed that tossing the shredded ingredients into the air with chopsticks while saying auspicious wishes out loud brings luck and prosperity. The higher the toss reflects the height of the person’s growth in luck and fortune. The ingredients itself have their own special meaning which can be taken as spreading well wishes to you and everyone else in the table.
And since this season calls for a lot of festivities at home, check out the links below on how to store your fresh foods and leftovers in these following related posts:
That’s Chinese New Year 101 for you, time to revel in this season and take the opportunity to reconnect with your roots. Hope you can share with us your CNY family traditions. Comment below or check out our Facebook page, we’d love to hear from you.
Wishing you a Happy and Prosperous Lunar New Year, from all of us in Liebherr Appliances. Gong Xi Fa Cai!