From February the 8th through to the 14th, people around the world will help ring in the year of the Red Monkey at the Chinese Spring Festival and marked by the lunisolar calendar.
The New Year is a major holiday in Asian cultures and is celebrated around the world. Many interesting traditions surround the holiday that can be celebrated by anyone looking to pay homage to the year before and to hope for good things to come. Here are three traditions to get you started.
1. Clean your house
Start things off by giving your house a major scrubbing from top to bottom. This belief holds that you are “sweeping away” the bad luck from the previous year and making room for blessings to come. One caveat—once you’ve cleaned for the New Year, you’re not supposed to sweep for the next 15 days once the New Year has begun. Doing so essentially “sweeps” the new blessings out the door!
2. Decorate with red
In many Asian cultures, the colour red signifies luck and good fortune and is often used in New Year celebrations along with the Chinese symbol for the number eight. Popular red decorations include paper lanterns and cutouts placed on windows.
3. Eat well
Food plays a large part in Chinese New Year celebrations. Fish is typically eaten or displayed as the Chinese word for fish is a homophone for luck. Tangerines are the most common fruit associated with the celebrations, as they symbolise bright blessings in the coming months. Noodles, as long as possible, are eaten as well, as they symbolise long life and longevity.
If you’re looking to celebrate with others, most major cities have Chinese districts sure to be reveling in the celebrations on the special day. Check your local paper for any fun activities and enjoy the Year of the Red Monkey!