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Chinese New Year falls on January 25, the day we enter in the mouse sign new year. Let's discover the Chinese calendar and its celebrations.
THE CHINESE CALENDAR AND MYTHOLOGY: DATES AND CURIOSITIES
The Chinese New Year is one of the most important traditional Chinese holidays and celebrates the beginning of the new year on the Chinese calendar. The "Chinese New Year" is actually the western definition for what is called the Spring Festival or Lunar New Year in China.
But what are the reasons why the date may vary? The Chinese calendar is called lunisolar, as such the beginning of each month coincides with the new moon (the phase of the moon in which its visible hemisphere is completely in shadow). All the months (and consequently the New Year), depending on the moon, can undergo a variation of about 29 days.
The Chinese New Year must therefore coincide with the new moon after the twelfth. In the western calendar (the Gregorian) this date may fall between January 21 and February 19.
The origin of the feast is traced back to the legend of Nian, a monster who, in conjunction with the first new moon of the year, used to go out of the den to feed on human beings. The Nian, however, had two weaknesses: the red color and the loud noises. That's why red has become the color of the Chinese New Year and there will be fireworks, songs, dances and music.
CHINESE NEW YEAR: DURATION AND CELEBRATIONS
The Chinese New Year always lasts two consecutive weeks: on the evening of the eve the family celebrations begin, it is customary to clean the house, pray to Buddha and feast with the closest relatives. During this dinner it is customary to treat oneself among the family members of the red envelopes, which usually contain money, firecrackers and new clothes.
The Chinese are strongly tied to a private dimension of the celebrations: during the two weeks there is a lot of tendency to stay with the family. We dress in red and adorn the houses and streets with the characteristic colored decorations.
The fifteenth day following the beginning of the new year coincides with the Lantern Festival, during which lanterns are placed on the streets, in homes and in shops. Candles are lit outside the houses to guide the wishing spirits to the houses. It is customary to consume Tangyuan, a rice cake. We organize many initiatives, exhibitions and activities, acrobat shows on stilts and comic performances.
A typical New Year's day tradition is the Lion Dance: a parade through the streets of the city of a lion's mannequin, dancing to the rhythm of drums and cymbals.
CHINESE ASTROLOGY: YEARS AND ANIMALS
The Chinese tradition cyclically assigns each year a different animal (the mouse, the buffalo, the tiger, the rabbit, the dragon, the snake, the horse, the goat, the monkey, the rooster, the dog and the pig) and a terrestrial branch. According to Chinese astrology, animals particularly influence people, determining the traits of the character of those born under their sign.
2020: THE YEAR OF THE GOLDEN MOUSE
All zodiac signs are associated with the 5 fundamental elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Gold and Water). 2020 will be the year of the Golden Rat (the last time was 1960). The elements, like animals, influence the fundamental characteristics of a person.
2020 will bring fertility, economic prosperity and innovations. Those born under the sign of the Mouse are witty, kind and versatile, rich in resources and capable of surprising. The mouse adapts to new situations, is a good observer, curious, pleasant and a good friend.
Not being able to assert his authority, the Mouse is not suitable for leadership positions, however he is a diligent worker, characterized by a somewhat closed and demanding mentality.
The Golden Rat is an egocentric and idealistic person, but also extremely passionate.
Welcome to the year of the mouse, which will bring us all 360 degrees of prosperity!