There is nothing left for the Chinese New Year, this traditional celebration, full of lights and plagued by the color red, will be the starting point for a new stage led by the wooden tiger. But these days, there is another protagonist that is taking over the tables of Asian diners: The cherry. Why? We tell you about this and other curious facts about this day.
1. Cherries: the gift par excellence
In Chinese culture, cherries are believed to bring good luck and prosperity. Their bright red color, which is associated with fortune, joy and positive energy, makes them especially appreciated during New Year celebrations. On the other hand, because it blooms in spring, symbolizes the beginning of a new cycle and renewal and is associated with harmony and family unity, which is why sharing cherries with loved ones is considered an auspicious gesture that strengthens family ties and predicts a year full of love and prosperity.
A 16-day celebration
To welcome a new year, those who celebrate this traditional holiday carry out a series of activities, such as visits to family, special banquets, parades and fireworks. Furthermore, it is tradition that in the days leading up to the date – in this case February 10 – the house is cleaned and posters with poetic verses and other red decorations are hung. In the following days, the visit to family and friends continues, which is generally accompanied by gifts that promote good fortune.
3. Reunion dinner
During New Year’s Eve, it is tradition to have a Reunion Dinner, which is considered the most important meal of the entire year. This dinner lasts until twelve at night, when the countdown to the new year begins. The traditional distribution of red envelopes also takes place, with money for the children, and typical foods are eaten. Generally, the end of this evening takes place in the company of fireworks that illuminate the night and indicate that it is time to begin something new.
4. Zodiac animals
In ancient China, to number the years, the use of the titles of the emperors and the Ganzhi Celestial System was applied, thus in the year 2937 BC. C. the first Chinese lunar calendar was created.
Based on this Chinese lunar calendar, each sign consists of 60 years (time of the Yellow Emperor’s reign), distributed into five cycles of twelve years each. It was from the Eastern Han dynasty (25-220), when the Chinese began to use the twelve animal signs in order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.
5. The Dragon
This 2024 will have the Dragon as the protagonist. According to Asian mythology, is considered a symbol of power, prosperity and good fortune, as it brings with it a special and significant energy for millions of people around the world. The Dragon is one of the most revered animals and represents strength, bravery, wisdom and success. Often associated with royalty and power, the Dragon’s presence is believed to bring blessings of good luck and great opportunities.
6. The Legend of Nian
There is a legend, dating back to the 14th century BC, that claims that a monster from Chinese mythology, called Nian, attacked at the beginning of the year. As a counterattack and in response to the fear it generated, the inhabitants warded it off with loud lights and noises to protect their families. Over time, this has become a form of tribute to the consummation of another year.