Happy Lunar New Year!
Chinese New Year or Spring Festival has just started and it will last more 15 days. The closure is marked by the beautiful Lantern Festival
Viviane Vaz for Id International
5 FEB 2019. Many Asian countries began celebrating the Lunar New Year. It takes place on the new moon of the first lunar month, near the beginning of Spring (Lichun). That’s why in China it’s called “Spring Festival” (chunjie 春节), instead of Chinese New Year. The holiday lasts around 15 days and marks the end of the cold days. It’s a time to welcome Spring by planting, establishing new plans and starting fresh.
Today, February 5th, Chinese neighbours start a day of greetings and blessings with firecrackers. There are no obligations besides having a lot of fun with your family and friends. Tradition says, though, it’s forbidden to sweep or clean anything (or anybody!) today, otherwise the (good) fortune will be swept away. So, forget about having that shower, unless you want to wash your luck away! 😛
(But don’t be silly. It’s expected you have cleaned your house before the Spring Festival and prepared to start neatly this year of the Pig. In Asia, the animal is a symbol of optimism, enthusiasm and hard work.) You should neither use scissors, knives and other sharp objects. It’s definitely not the time to cut or break things. So, please, don’t start arguing, swearing or saying bad words! 🙂
The elderly practice zhàn suì (占岁). It means they will analyse the stars, the moon and the weather to predict what is going to happen this year. Besides, although many Chinese people do love tea, today is meant to be celebrated with Tusu wine (屠苏酒—tú sū jiǔ), specially created for New Year festivities.
It is said that every year in the last lunar month, Sun Simiao, a well-known physician of the Tang Dynasty, would distribute a pack of medicine to his fellow villagers, and tell them to soak the medicine in wine and drink the wine on New Year’s Eve to prevent plagues.
The Tusu wine is made by immersing Chinese herbal medicines like rhubarb and atractylodes roots in wine. Still today is famous for dispersing cold and expelling epidemic diseases. Cheers! Happy Lunar New Year!