Although it’s the biggest holiday in China and in countries with sizable Chinese populations, the festivities aren’t restricted to the Chinese. Also known as Lunar New Year, the celebration is an important event in many Asian cultures honoring the Lunar calendar.Whatever it is called and wherever it’s celebrated, Chinese New Year is about families reuniting and feasting!
The roots of Chinese New Year go back to the 16th century, when the holiday was based on the ancient Chinese lunar-solar calendar, which was also a religious and social guide. For older generations, the New Year celebration is a time to honor heavenly ancestors by bringing the family together for a feast.
The story began with a Chinese mythological beast called Nian, who would come out around Chinese New Year to prey on villagers.To scare him off, locals would make loud banging sounds, wear red robes and place red ornaments on their doors– which, by the way, was how the lion dance was born.
The tactic worked. Nian went away and never returned.
The biggest event associated with Chinese New Year takes place on New Year’s Eve, for the Reunion Dinner, which is much like Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Traditionally, families go to local temples to pray. In modern times, dinner usually continues with a party.