It's that time of year again when Lunar New Year celebrations take centre stage! A holiday filled with colour, culture and celebration, the New Year…
Fun Facts about the Lunar New Year 2023
The Lunar New Year begins on January 22nd, 2023, and this time it’s the Year of the Rabbit!
There are twelve zodiac animals in total, and the rabbit is the fourth of them. Zodiac signs are an important part of Chinese culture and can help individuals decide on important life decisions throughout the year.
Here are a few more facts about the Year of the Rabbit to help you celebrate the occasion:
The rabbit represents life and longevity
The rabbit is said to have a calm nature, and in Chinese culture they represent the moon. People born in the Year of the Rabbit are said to be gentle and approachable. Although to outsiders they may seem weak, rabbits are always steadily moving towards their goals. Their quiet personality hides their confidence and strength.
2023 is the year of the Water Rabbit
The last year of the Water Rabbit was 1963. People born in this year had financial hardships during their youth, however they are able to turn unfortunate events around. When people born in the Year of the Rabbit are elderly, money must be spent in order to preserve longevity.
The rabbit came fourth in the Great Race
The story goes that the rabbit was so proud of its speed, always making fun of the much slower Ox. When the Jade Emperor said that the order of the zodiac would be decided by the order in which the animals arrived at his party, the rabbit set off at sunrise. When he got to the palace there was no one else in sight. Confident that he would win the race, he went to have a nap. However, when he woke up, three other animals had beaten him to the party – including the Ox.
This festival is called the Lunar New Year because of the calendar it is based on.
It starts with a new moon and ends on the full moon. This year, Chinese New Year falls on February 1st, 2022, but the date changes every year because it’s based on the lunar calendar.
Chinese New Year has been celebrated for over 3000 years
Chinese New Year is the most important of all traditional festivals for the people in China. It has its roots deep in antiquity and has been celebrated for more than 3,000 years.
The Lunar New Year is celebrated worldwide
Because Chinese New Year is celebrated worldwide, many people refer to it as the Lunar New Year. The Lunar New Year is celebrated in many different places, including Vietnam, the United States, and South Korea. Each country celebrates slightly differently, but the festival is always a holiday for family, fun, and friendship.
Taboos and superstitions
There are several taboos and superstitions about gifts and what you can and can’t do during Chinese New Year. One is that you can’t give pears as a gift for Chinese New Year, as the word for pear (lee) sounds the same as the word for leaving (lí). Another is that you can’t wash your hair on the first day of the Lunar New Year, as this is seen as washing all the good luck away.
Sending away evil demons with bamboo
Before fireworks were invented, bamboo was burned to send away evil demons. Once fireworks and firecrackers were invented, they replaced the burning bamboo as fireworks are much louder and scare demons away much more easily!
Always give in sets of 8…
Money and gifts are given in sets of 8. Another superstition, the number 8 is considered to be the luckiest number. If your gifts are given in sets of 8, you get extra luck for the year!
But never in sets of 4!
Contrastingly, you should never give gifts or money in sets of 4! This is extremely unlucky as the number ‘4’ in Chinese sounds like the word for death.
Are you celebrating the Lunar New Year? Share your ideas and activities with us on social media by tagging us and by using the hashtag #ExploreWithEYR.