Welcoming 2024: Celebrating Chinese New Year with the Year of the Dragon

Year of the Dragon

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Happy Chinese New Year! It’s a big deal in China and other places. It’s like their New Year’s celebration but follows the lunar calendar. Started around 3,500 years ago, it’s a time for feasting, honoring gods, ancestors, and having a good time. Even though they use the regular calendar too, they still love celebrating the Lunar New Year.

A Quick History Story Behind Chinese New Year

Long ago, around 14th century B.C. with the Shang Dynasty, the ancient Chinese lunar calendar started. It wasn’t just about dates; it guided religion, dynasties, and society, adapting with each new emperor. This detailed calendar followed the moon and sun cycles, setting the stage for events. Chinese New Year kicked off with the new moon between January and February, lasting around 15 days until the full moon.

During Chinese New Year, people did ceremonies for gods and ancestors. There’s a story about a monster called Nianshou (Nian) that came each New Year’s Eve, eating animals and crops. People put food outside to stop it. Some were so scared they fled to the mountains. One day, an old man found out Nian feared red and loud noises. So, people started using red lanterns, clothes, and bamboo crackers. The monster never came back, and that’s how the tradition of red things and fireworks began.

People Born in the Year of the Dragon: What’s Special About Them

People born in the year of the dragon are believed to be natural leaders, charismatic, confident, and intelligent. They are considered visionary and value their community. This makes them potential politicians, entrepreneurs, and influential figures. However, dragons may become overconfident and egotistical, making them susceptible to manipulation. Lucky numbers for them are one, six, and seven, while three and eight are considered unlucky. Gold, gray, and white are lucky colors, while blue and green are unlucky. The dragon is a revered zodiac sign with deep roots in Chinese mythology, symbolizing leadership and forward-thinking visionaries. Wishing all dragons a happy and prosperous year!

The Chinese Dragon Zodiac occurs every 12 years, with recent years being 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, and upcoming years being 2024 and 2036.

How to celebrate Chinese New Year.

What to eat?

The best way to celebrate the Chinese New Year is by gathering with family or friends and enjoying traditional Chinese foods. Some of these foods are considered lucky and are a great addition to the celebration!

  • Dumplings – Symbolises wealth
  • Spring Rolls – Symbolises wealth
  • Fish – Symbolises prosperity
  • Longevity Noodles – Symbolises a long life
  • Tangyuan – Symbolises family togetherness and reunion

Clean your home.

Cleaning before Chinese New Year is a tradition based on the belief that it removes the bad luck of the past year and prepares the house for the good luck of the upcoming year.

What to wear?

If you’re not sure what to wear for the occasion, opting for something red is a good choice. The reasoning being that in Chinese culture, the colour red is associated with happiness and good luck. And if you haven’t got anything to wear, it’s also the perfect excuse to take a shopping trip. Wearing something new is associated with bringing renewed luck for the year ahead.

Put up red decorations.

In Chinese culture, red is the symbol of good luck and is commonly used in New Year decorations. So, for New Year celebrations, consider incorporating red into your decorations.

Giving of red envelopes.

During Chinese New Year, adults give red envelopes with money to children for good luck.

In simple words, Chinese New Year is a celebration filled with rich traditions meant to bring good luck, unity, and hope. The Year of the Dragon is special, symbolizing leadership and vision. Families come together to enjoy delicious food, exchange red envelopes for good luck, and create a joyful atmosphere. Cleaning before the New Year represents a fresh start, leaving behind past challenges. The use of vibrant red in decorations and clothing adds to the festive spirit. Overall, it’s a time-honored celebration blending ancient customs with excitement for a prosperous future.