History Of Chinese Lunar new years:
It is unclear when the beginning of the year was celebrated before the Qin Dynasty. Traditionally, the year was said to have begun with the first month during the Xia Dynasty, the last month during the Shang dynasty, and the eleventh month during the Zhou Dynasty.
However, records show that the Zhou Dynasty began its year with the first month. Intercalary months, used to keep the lunar calendar synchronized with the sun, were added after the last month during both the Shang Dynasty and the Zhoud Dynasty. The first Emperor of China changed the beginning of the year in 221 BC. In 104 BC, the Han Dynasty set the first month as the beginning of the year, which remains to now.
What is “Nian”?
In ancient China, as known by Chinese people, there is a tale that once a kind of animal, called “Nian”, was a man-eating beast from the mountain, coming out at end of every year and to prey on humans.
The people later become aware of that the “Nian” was sensitive to loud noises and the color red, so they scared it away with explosives (fireworks or firecrackers) and red color. That’s why Chinese people always set fireworks to celebrate New Year. The custom is called “Guo Nian”, which means to celebrate the New Year, literally pass over the “Nian.
Chinese New Year Traditions And Gift Ideas:
Most importantly, the First day of Chinese New Year is a time when families visit the eldest and most senior members of their extended family, usually their parents, grandparents or great-grandparents. Some families may invite a lion dance troupe as a symbolic ritual to usher in the Lunar New Year as well as to evict bad spirits from the last year and bring fortune in next year. People also give red packets containing cash to junior members of the family, mostly kids. Also, give some gifts to youngers, and i received a present once, an swarovski iphone case, shining indeed. Then, I searched same style online and it is worthy as a Collector’s Edition. If there is anybody out there is interested in, it is a definitely way to land and collect your treasures.
The fifteenth day of the new year is celebrated as Yuanxiao jie, at which day, people will have meals of the sweet glutinous rice ball cooked in a soup. Candles are lit outside houses as a way to guide wayward spirits home. This day is celebrated as the lantern Festival, and families walk on the street carrying lighted lanterns.