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Chinese New Year begins on February 1. What is being celebrated? And which countries celebrate the Lunar New Year? Here's what you need to know about the Chinese festival

Chinese New Year begins on 1. February. What is celebrated? And which countries celebrate the Lunar New Year? What you need to know about the Chinese festival.

Photo: Kin Cheung, dpa (archive)

The Chinese New Year begins on 1. February. What is celebrated? And which countries celebrate the Lunar New Year? What you need to know about the Chinese festival.

Image: Kin Cheung, dpa (Archive)

Happy New Year! German Internet users may now be irritated, but is "our" 2022 already 31 days old. But on 1. February the new year begins in the Asian region only now. This is effectively pointed out, for example, by the Google doodle for the Lunar New Year. What it is all about, we explain here.

What is the Lunar New Year?

No matter if Lunar New Year, Spring Festival or Chinese New Year: All three names refer to the beginning of the year in some traditional Asian calendar systems. On 1. February begins according to this calendar the year of the water tiger.

The event is considered the most important traditional festival in China. Similar to Germany, the celebration of the New Year is of great importance, especially within the family. The event gets its name from the lunisolar calendar, on which it is based. In addition, the term Lunar New Year goes back to the original name in Chinese.

How long does the Spring Festival last?

The New Year is usually celebrated for a whole 16 days. The beginning of the festivities this year is on Chinese New Year on 31. January. The end is on the Lantern Festival on 15. February set.

When is celebrated the Chinese New Year?

In fact, there is no fixed date. The day of Chinese New Year changes every year. However, it is always celebrated between 21. January and the 20. February celebrated.

What are the customs of the Chinese New Year?

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A distinction is made between customs that either bring good luck or bad luck. The following is believed to bring good luck:

  • Sweet food
  • New pair of slippers bought in the old year
  • Keeping lights on at night

For the Chinese New Year, in many Asian countries, candles and flowers are placed in temples and houses

Brings bad luck on the other hand:

  • Cut hair
  • Buying new shoes in the year
  • Talking about the deceased

Which countries celebrate Lunar New Year?

Above all in East Asia, thus in Korea, Mongolia or also Viet Nam, the spring celebration is celebrated. But also in Thailand, Singapore or the Philippines, depending on the region, people follow the Asian calendar. There are also deviations: In Tibet, for example, the New Year is usually celebrated one new moon later than is customary in China. (Read also: Why Candlemas used to be so important for farmers)

What do the animals mean at the Chinese New Year?

Each Chinese year is associated with an animal sign according to the Chinese zodiac cycle. The twelve animal signs are (in order): Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. 2022 is the year of the tiger. Accordingly, the next year, which will be under the sign of the tiger, will not be until 2034 again according to the twelve-year cycle of the Asian calendar system.

Why water tiger? What does the element?

A special feature of Chinese astrology is that the signs of the zodiac are also assigned one of the five elements. These are: Fire, Water, Metal, Earth and Wood. These elements in turn represent certain character traits. Using the Year of the Water Tiger as an example:

The tiger is considered a symbol of strength and courage. According to Chinese beliefs, the element of water ensures that the new year will be characterized by openness and flexibility, but also rationality.

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