Last updated on November 1st, 2016 at 08:31 pm
The words, “Happy Chinese New Year!” harken back for me some of my most cherished memories of my childhood. We watched in awe as a gigantic, bright and colorful lion creature pranced playfully about engaging and entrancing us to the point we forgot there were over two dozen human legs dancing under the lavish costume. The sight of close friends and family arriving filled us with joy, and the sounds of the elders’ hearty laughter were contagious. And of course, all that food! We feasted on enough delicious dumplings and spring rolls that could’ve lasted us for months.
The Chinese New Year is the longest holiday in the Chinese calendar, typically lasting up to 15 days. It begins on the first day of the first lunar month. The holiday is celebrated by well over 1 billion people in Asia, in several countries that include Taiwan, Malaysia and Indonesia. To Asians who are not of Chinese descent, the holiday is also known as the Lunar New Year. It is also aptly named the Spring Festival, celebrated in China. The Lantern Festival often concludes the New Year celebration with a massive display of illuminating, bright red lanterns in streets, stores and homes. The color red is symbolic of fire, which is believed to ward off bad luck and evil spirits. It is a constant theme throughout the celebration, thus it is not uncommon for celebrating individuals to dress head to toe in red or decorate their homes accordingly. The giving of red envelopes takes place most often during family gatherings, and is meant to demonstrate the close bond and kinship between the elderly and child.
Regardless of how one chooses to recognize the holiday by name, the Chinese New Year is widely celebrated as a time for family reunion. It is also a time of giving thanks to our elders and honoring our dearly departed ancestors because they were the ones who provided the younger generation with the tools and foundations for a good life.
Each Chinese New Year is assigned an animal from the Chinese horoscope. This year, we say farewell to the Dragon and welcome in – the Snake.
As one of the main goals of this blog, we like to share with our readers the wonders of every culture to increase tolerance and understanding among people from different backgrounds to ease communication and interaction. Our translation company deals with Chinese translations and Chinese culture every day, thus we have developed an understanding for aspects of the culture that were foreign to us in the beginning. We welcome and cherish any opportunity that allows us to learn and celebrate different traditions from any culture. This weekend we rejoice in this Chinese celebration!
This Sunday, February 10th, JR Language is delighted to celebrate this beautiful custom with our Chinese translators: Happy Chinese New Year!