Gong Ci Fa Cai or Happy Chinese New Year!
Today the 8th of February marks the beginning of the Year in China, and is of course celebrated massively in China, but also in all China Towns around the world like; Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phnom Penh, Ho Chi Minh, Vientiane etc. If you happened to be in a city with a Chinatown located, dont waste your time, go there and experience it!
During the Celebration, cities will be decorated in red lanterns, fireworks (against evil spirits), music, food – (dumplings are the most famous dish which was originally only eaten during the New Year period – or Spring Festival as it’s often called), people will dress in red clothes, since red is the color of good luck!
This is also the reason why Chinese people hand over Red envelopes to their family and friends with money for good luck.
Chinese New Year is celebrated for two reasons;
- To Celebrate a year of hard work, and relax with the family
- To wish for a lucky and prosperous coming year
It is a tradition for Chinese people to visit their family during the Chinese New Year, at this moment the biggest human migration on earth takes place. Over 1 billion Chinese people travel around China to visit their hometowns. During the 2 weeks of celebrations an estimated of 2.9 billion train tickets will be sold in China. That means about half the world’s population would make a train journey in this period.
So what is the story about those animals?
Actually there is a lot of different stories about it, one of them is that Buddha organized a race to celebrate his birthday. All animals got invited and the first 12 to finish the race would get their own year. The rat won the race because he cheated by riding on the back of the ox, and jump off right before the finish line. The cat lost the race because the rat told him the race would be on another date, and therefore ended as number 13. According to the legends this is the reason the cat is still chasing rats nowadays.
The animal of this year is the monkey. People born in the year of the Monkey are happy, energetic and creative. Monkeys can solve problems, got a good sense of humor. Chinese believe that when you’re born in the year of the monkey, this year should bring you good luck and happiness!