As a company that supplies a great deal of its product from China, we're deeply interested in Chinese tradition. Arguably the most famous celebration in Chinese culture is Chinese New Year. This year, the celebration of the Year of the Rooster falls on January 28th. Leading up to the event, we'll be sharing a history of Chinese New Year, our favorite teas sourced from China, and ways you can observe Chinese New Year this weekend.
But December 31st Already Happened
For many people, New Year's Eve has come and gone. While December 31st marks the end of the year for westerners, Chinese calendars are lunisolar. Lunisolar calendars not only rely on the phases of the moon, but they also indicate the time in the solar year. Many cultures use versions of lunisolar calendars, including major religions like Hinduism, Judaism, and Buddhism. Like many other calendars, the Chinese calendar's days start and end at midnight. Months begin with the "Dark moon", or what others refer to as a New Moon.
The Year of the Rooster
Each year, one of 12 of the animals of the Chinese zodiac becomes the symbol of the year. These zodiac animals rotate, meaning the last year of the Rooster was 12 years ago and the next will come in 2029. These animals each represent personality traits and indicate lucky numbers, colors, and flowers. People born in the year of the Rooster are generally talkative, intelligent, honest, and energetic. If you're curious as to which animal represents your birth year, you can find your Chinese zodiac here.
While the celebrations of western New Year's Eve are short-lived, the Chinese New Year celebrations last several days. Work is halted and the holiday is observed for days before the New Year and for days after. In many homes, porridge is consumed in the days leading up to Chinese New Year and families hold a Reunion Dinner to celebrate the upcoming holiday. As Chinese New Year begins, there are fifteen consecutive of lively, unique traditions. The final day of celebrations culminates with the Lantern Festival. In some areas, this day is treated like Valentine's Day, but for many families, the day is celebrated by walking through the streets carrying a lantern.
If you're interested in celebrating the Chinese New Year, you can likely find celebrations in a city near you. Even Disneyland will join the festivities, proving that this joyous celebration can be felt around the world.