Lunar New Year Trivia
How much do you know about the Lunar New Year?
Tomorrow, January 28th, is the first day of the Lunar New Year. The Lunar New Year is perhaps more commonly known to many as the Chinese New Year, however this terminology is no longer politically correct, as several other Asian cultures celebrate the Lunar schedule. The Lunar New Year is coordinated by cycles of the moon and marks the beginning of a 15-day festival celebrating a new year and new beginnings. This time period is also commonly referred to as the “Spring Festival.” While it may seem odd to celebrate spring in the middle of winter, the idea behind the festival’s namesake is that the worst of winter should be behind us and the hope and newness of spring is something we should look forward to. Regardless of what name you best identify with for this holiday, it is a time for travel, family, and starting over. In honor of the holiday, here are 10 interesting pieces of trivia that may surprise you!
1. The Year of the Rooster
The rooster is the 10th (out of a 12-year cycle of Chinese zodiac animals). The rooster is thought to epitomize fidelity and punctuality. People born in the year of the rooster are predicted to have many great qualities such as being honest, intelligent, communicative, ambitions, attractive, independent, and well dressed.
2. Celebrity Roosters:
Famous “rooster celebrities” include: Van Morrison, Goldie Hawn, Steve Martin, Bette Midler, Jack Black, Paul Rudd, Peter Dinklage, Gwen Stefani, Jay Z, Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Lopez, Brittany Spears, Beyonce, Adriana Lima, Bob Marley, and Jennifer Aniston.
3. All Things Red
Red is considered to be a lucky color in China; it is symbolic of fire, which is thought to ward off bad luck. Many people wear red, exchange red envelopes filled with “lucky” money, and write poems on red paper in celebration of the New Year.
4. Dates for Hire
The cultural pressure to have a significant other is especially high during the Lunar New Year. To help take the pressure off of families, many parents have been hiring boyfriends and girlfriends for their single children during the holiday. In fact, apps that provide a boyfriend or girlfriend for hire have become increasingly popular and peak just before the holiday.
5. Be Prepared
Many people prepare for the Chinese New Year by thoroughly cleaning their houses and getting new haircuts and clothing. The idea is to get rid of misfortune and bad luck. However, you won’t want to clean or sweep on New Year’s Day, as that can push your good luck away!
6. Opened Doors
On the stroke of midnight of the New Year, every door and window in a house celebrating the holiday is left open to allow the old year to escape.
7. Fireworks Galore
More fireworks are purchased and launched during the Spring Festival, than during any other holiday – including the 4th of July. Fireworks are derived from the tradition of lighting bamboo on fire to ward of evil spirits.
8. California Celebration
San Francisco claims to be the host of the 2nd largest Lunar New Year parade, outside of Asia. The parade has been running since the 1860’s.
9. No Sharp Utensils
The use of scissors or knives on New Year’s Day is frowned upon. It is believed that handling sharp objects could cause your good fortune and luck to get cut off from you.
10. Food for Fortune
Food is a significant part of the holiday and certain foods hold more value than others. For example, eating eggs is associated with fertility and oranges are associated with wealth. One popular food item favored during the holiday is candied crab apples on a stick.
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