Chinese New Year – 12 February 2021

Friday 12th February 2021 will mark the Chinese New Year.  We will be celebrating the Chinese New Year within the Nurseries, exploring what the New Year means and how it is celebrated.

Chinese New Year is a traditional holiday in China.  It begins on the last day of the month in the Chinese calendar, Chinese New Year’s Eve, and ends on the fifteenth day of the first month which is marked by the Lantern Festival. This makes it the longest festival in the Chinese calendar.  The date changes from year to year because it follows an ancient farmer calendar which is based on phases of the moon.

In Chinese tradition, twelve animals represent each year. These animals are:

  1. Rat
  2. Ox
  3. Tiger
  4. Rabbit
  5. Dragon
  6. Snake
  7. Horse
  8. Goat
  9. Monkey
  10. Rooster
  11. Dog
  12. Pig.

Chinese New Year 2021, will be the Year of the Ox.  The Ox represents diligence, persistence and honesty.  Lucky numbers for those born in the Year of the Ox are one and four; lucky flowers are peach blossoms and tulips; and lucky colours are white, yellow and green.  Other Years of the Ox include: 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997 and 2009.

Some facts about Chinese New Year include:

  • The Lantern Festival was originally a ceremonial day to pray to gods for a good planting and harvest season.
  • People also pray to their ancestors, who were seen as gods.
  • The most important part of Chinese New Year is family reunion. In modern China, many young people live in cities, while the elders live in rural villages. This migration back home is called the Spring Migration.
  • It’s believed that you shouldn’t shower on New Year’s Day because you’ll wash away the good luck.
  • Dumplings are a popular food throughout the celebrations.
  • The colour red is used in nearly all Chinese New Year decorations.