By Mei Yee
The Lunar New Year (or Spring Festival) actually dates back about 3,500 years. However, the exact beginning was not recorded. It is believed that it started in the Shange Dynasty (1600-1046 BC). It wasn't until the Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BC), that the custom became a yearly thing. Then in the Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD) the date became fixed to be the first day on the first month of the lunar calendar.
But, in 1912 the government decided to abolish the Lunar New Year and the lunar calendar. They adopted the Gregorian calendar instead. Then in 1914 it was renamed the Spring Festival.
For this year:
January 25th is known as "Little Year", this day is for new year's cleaning and cooking/preparation.
January 31st is New Year's Eve. Normally celebrated with a family reunion dinner and staying up until midnight to greet the new year.
February 1st is New Years! A day for visiting and greeting family, as well as visiting your ancestors' graves.
February 15th is the Lantern Festival.
(There are 16 days total for this holiday.)
2022 is the year of the tiger, which means if you born the of the tiger it is your zodiac year! The zodiac signs always begin on the Lunar New Years and not January 1st. So, if you were born in 2010 (Feb14th), 1998(Jan 28th), 1986(Feb 9th), 1974(Jan 23rd), 1962 (Feb 5th), or 1950(Feb 17th) then you were born the year of the tiger. However, it is not all good news, your zodiac year is considered your bad luck year.
They say wearing red will help ward off the bad luck of your zodiac year. Worth a shot if you're having a lot of bad luck.
I will admit that the pandemic has put a bit of a halt on how we celebrate in my family. We normally still have the big family meal. But the past few years things have been scattered so we try to see each other when we can.
新年好! (Xīnnián hǎo) Happy New Year!