JANUARY 25, 2020, CHINESE NEW YEAR
The Chinese New Year, Spring Festival, or Lunar New Year is the most important holiday on the Chinese calendar. It has a history of over 3000 years and its origin is closely linked to the beliefs of ancient gods. According to tradition, every year it takes its name from one of the twelve animals that make up the Chinese zodiac. 2020 is the year of the mouse which is the first zodiac sign and represents the symbol of abundance of water, fertility and economic prosperity.
On January 25, 2020, billions of people celebrate the Chinese New Year. To greet the new Year of the Mouse all over the world, including Italy, marking the beginning of the new Lunar Year, or the moment when the phase of the new moon begins. This event is characterized by a lunisolar calendar, that is, a lunar calendar of the same duration as the solar calendar, used in China until 1912 and still used for holidays. Since it depends on the moon, the Chinese New Year's date may change every year, but in general it will always fall between January 21 and February 20. The celebrations last two weeks and end in the Lantern Festival on Saturday 8 February. During the New Year the communities organize lavish parades in traditional costumes, fireworks and prayers are recited in the temples. Fireworks cannot be missing: popular belief has it that the noise and lights will scare away evil spirits and keep them away for the next 12 months.
New Year's Eve: the day when families gather, is called Chúxī, which in Italian can be translated as "getting rid of the evening". In 2020 it is Friday 24 January.
The first day of the year: during this day we visit relatives and we exchange greetings for a happy new year. This day is called 一 Chūyī, it means "first day"; it is the actual New Year's day and this year falls on Saturday 25 January.
Lantern Festival: it is the last day of the holiday period and corresponds to the fifteenth day of the first month of the Chinese lunar calendar. This year is Saturday February 8th.
COLOR GOOD LUCK FOR EXCELLENCE, THE RED
Red is the main color of the holiday, because according to Chinese tradition it is an auspicious color, it is written almost always with the character (hóng) and is connected to positivity and celebration, in which clothes, lanterns, decorations, dragons sparkle , festoons and so on: all to attract good luck.
Red symbolizes happiness, joy, luck and wealth, but also love.
Every street, house or building where New Year's Eve is celebrated is decorated in red, with paper lanterns and banners engraved with poems and sayings, while children are given luck money in red envelopes.
The Chinese believe that it is very fortunate to start on the right foot and, possibly, "in red".
SYMBOL OF THE MOUSE
Some see the rodent as a symbol of intelligence and cunning, as told by the legend that is narrated during the Chinese New Year celebrations.
According to the myth, the Jade Emperor organized an animal race for his birthday, the results of which would have determined the order of the Chinese zodiac signs. Legend has it that the rat, using cunningness, managed to get a pass on the back of the ox, landing first on the finish line. This is how the Mouse was named the first animal in the cycle.
The 12 zodiac signs of the Chinese horoscope are therefore, in order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. All animals will have a year dedicated to them once every 12 years, cyclically.