It is tied to the lunar calendar, and was originally a time to honor not only household and heavenly deities but also ancestors.
What was the name of the mythical beast in the legend behind this celebration?
It played a role in religion, dynasties, and social culture. The Chinese lunar calendar may have existed as far back as the Shang Dynasty, in the 14th century B.C.
Each year in the is associated with an animal sign. It is calculated according to lunar calendar.
Each clue describes the characteristics of one of the animals of the Chinese Zodiac. Use the clues to complete the puzzle.
A legend says that this celebration began because of a fight against a mythical beast called the "Year."
Describe the last time you spent quality time with your family. When was it? What did you do? Who was there?
On the lines below, write a duilian of your own. In the two lines, try to capture your hopes and wishes for the upcoming year.
Read the poem. Then write a poem of your own about Chinese New Year using free verse.
Why is the Chinese New Year Different Every Year?
It is one of the most celebrated events on the calendar. Around this day, Chinese people from all over the world make their way to their family homes to join in with the festivities. These celebrations last for days, and people and children look forward to them throughout the year.
It does help when you are the country with the world's highest population. It is sometimes also referred to as the Spring Festival. The neat thing about this holiday is that the date it observed constantly changes based on the cycles of the moon. It can occur anywhere between late January to late February. The first night of the celebration is the night that the most fireworks are set off in the world. There are also some curious traditions with this one. You can't shower on New Year's Day and you can't sweep or throw out garbage until the fifth day. These worksheets include puzzles, reading sheets, editing activities, and extended writing activities. We cover a great deal of tradition and modern thoughts on the rituals of the holiday.
When Does It Begin?
Unlike the Gregorian Calendar New Year, which has a fixed date of 1st January, the Chinese new year begins on a different date every year. The Chinese Lunar calendar follows the moon's movement, and as the first day of all lunar months begins with the new moon, the first day of the new year changes every year. However, it always falls between 21st January and 21st February.
The History Behind It
The celebrations that have taken place go as far back as 1600 to 1046 BC during the Shang Dynasty. People of that time honored the gods at the beginning of every year by sacrificing animals. Ancient records show that during the Han Dynasty, between 202 BC to 220 AD, the Chinese New Year was officially established. Since then, the methods of celebration have evolved, and the holiday was renamed the Spring Festival in 1949.
The Associated Animals
Each year, the Chinese New Year is associated with a different animal. These animals follow a list and are repeated every 12 years. They are:
The order in which these animals repeat is based on an ancient fable about them participating in a race and the order of them finishing it. It is believed that all babies born in a specific year inherit the same characteristics as the animal of their birth year. Furthermore, whenever the year of the animal associated with your birth arrives, it is an omen of bad luck for you.
Fun fact: 2022 is the year of the tiger.
How Is It Celebrated?
Every year, China and other countries welcome the Chinese New Year. Children, in particular, look forward to it, as it is meant to bring them traditional little red envelopes full of money. The standard new year celebrations involve lighting firecrackers to scare off bad luck.
It is ceremonial for families to get together for New Year's Eve dinners and pray for a good harvest season. Gifts are exchanged, and the elderly are thanked for their efforts in bringing up the family. Many households practice ancestor worship and offer greetings and prayers for their deceased.
The most commonly known and recognized celebrations are the lantern festivals and dragon dances. Colorful decorations are hung, and special wines, dumplings, and desserts are made a part of menus.
The public holiday period for a traditional spring festival is for seven days, even though the celebrations continue for 23 days.
Things to Avoid During the Celebration
You must avoid some things on Chinese New year that are meant to bring bad luck. The concept of good and bad luck is firmly embedded in the Chinese belief system. Doing any of the following is guaranteed to get you year-long bad luck:
- Wash clothes
- Use negative slang words
- Wash your hair
- Eat porridge
- Do needlework or stitching
- Sweep the floor
Some other activities that cause bad luck that have to be avoided for the whole Spring Festival are killing, crying, breaking dishes, using scissors or knives, wearing black or white clothes, and visiting sick people in hospital.
In 2022, the holiday began on the 1st of February. Here's a list of when it will be observed in the coming years:
- January 22nd 2023
- February 10th 2024
- January 29th 2025
- February 17th 2026
- February 6th 2027
- January 26th 2028
- February 13th 2029
- February 3rd 2030