Top 5 Facts about Chinese New Year

In today’s instalment, we’re counting down the top five facts about Chinese New Year. Unlike western New Year’s, the date of this colorful, explosive celebration is ever changing. Based on the lunisolar Chinese calendar, Chinese New Year takes place on the new moon of the first lunar month, and among other things, marks the approach of spring and the passing of winter’s coldest weather. On the Gregorian calendar, it lands somewhere between January 21st and February 20th. Come along as we explore the history, traditions and modern global cultural impact of this expansive holiday.
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Top 5 Facts about Chinese New Years


Prepare yourself for one of the biggest parties celebrated around the world! Welcome to MsMojo’s Top 5 Facts.

In today’s instalment, we’re counting down the top five facts about Chinese New Year. Unlike western New Year’s, the date of this colorful, explosive celebration is ever changing. Based on the lunisolar Chinese calendar, Chinese New Year takes place on the new moon of the first lunar month, and among other things, marks the approach of spring and the passing of winter’s coldest weather. On the Gregorian calendar, it lands somewhere between January 21st and February 20th.

#5: Major Celebrations Take Place Around the World

Although it’s called Chinese New Year, this holiday is celebrated around the world by a variety of nationalities in numerous countries. Also known as the Lunar New Year or “Spring Festival,” it is a major holiday in many Southeast Asian countries, including Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines. In Sydney, Australia where significant Southeast Asian diasporas exist, massive festivities take place over a three week span. In North America, large-scale parades can be found in countless major cities, but San Francisco is credited as the largest and oldest celebration outside of Asia, dating back to the 1860s. London and Paris both boast spectacular celebrations to mark the occasion, with revelers numbering in the hundreds of thousands. It’s estimated that an earth-shaking 1/5th of the world’s population celebrates.

#4: Chunyun: The Largest Annual Human Migration

If 20% of all humans partake… it’s not just the parades and festivities that are going to get overcrowded. Chinese New Year is a time to reunite with family and friends, but getting there can be tricky with so many people in transit. This mass movement of people is so significant that it has earned itself a name of its very own– “Chunyun”– the Spring Festival travel period. Beginning roughly 15 days before the festivities start and running for 40 days in total, this human migration cripples China’s transportation system. It’s impossible to get an exact figure, but as of 2016, it’s estimated that over a billion Chunyun travellers will take an approximate 2.9 billion trips.

#3: It Ends With the Lantern Festival

In western society, New Year’s is a streamlined affair. It’s ideally spent in good company, celebrated with a kiss, and, for most people, comes to a screeching halt New Year’s Day with an absolutely crippling hangover. Chinese New Year, however, is a lengthy process. Even before things officially kick off, little traditions are observed, like the consumption of Laba Porridge, a thorough house cleaning to wash away the old year, and hanging holiday decorations. Official festivities kick off at midnight of the first day, and then run for a full 15 days of celebration, ending with the Lantern Festival. The lanterns signify self-renewal, finding love, good fortune, and serve as a means to guide wayward spirits home. Watching thousands of lanterns float away sure sounds nicer than nursing that hangover.

#2: Young Men & Women Rent Fake Boyfriends & Girlfriends

Millions of students and young professionals return home for Chinese New Year, where they will almost certainly be grilled about their significant other and progress towards marriage or... lack thereof. It’s a major source of anxiety for children of culturally traditional Chinese families, since remaining single in your mid-20s and beyond is considered inappropriate, or a sign of failure. So what’s a single young adult to do? Hire a significant other for the holidays. Both men and women rent themselves out to singles-in-need over the holidays. Sui Wei, a 29 year old from Beijing, explained to the Financial Times that he’ll even pose as a husband at the client’s request.

#1: It’s the Biggest Global Use of Fireworks

At midnight on the first day of Chinese New Year, things kick off with a bang… or to be more accurate - millions of bangs. Fireworks are at the very heart of the Chinese New Year tradition. According to legend, a fearsome creature, known as the Nian, used to terrorize Chinese villagers over winter. Until one day, a mysterious old man came to town, and scared it off using firecrackers. Since then, fireworks have been used to drive away evil. This isn’t you typical fireworks display - when the clock strikes 12, the single greatest use of fireworks in the world begins. In China alone, thousands of organized firework displays are held, in addition to the millions of home fireworks set off.

Will you be celebrating Chinese New Year? Would you ever consider hiring a fake boyfriend or girlfriend over the holiday season to keep family off your back? For more explosive top 10s and joyful 5s, be sure to subscribe to MsMojo.
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