Most Latin Americans celebrate the New Year eating 12 grapes, one for each month’s luck, wearing different colored underwear, walking around the block with empty luggage, putting lentils in their pockets for economic luck or kissing at midnight for eternal love.
However, the Chinese celebrate these festivities very differently to the western world. The Chinese New Year, commonly known as the Chinese Spring Festival, is the most important social and economic holiday for the Chinese. Even though the country already adopted the Gregorian western calendar, the start of these festivities is based on the lunar calendar, traditionally used in China. The festivities start on the first day on the first lunar month and go on for 15 days until the full moon. The Chinese New Year is marked by the second new moon after the winter solstice. In 2015, the Chinese will celebrate year 4,713 on the 19th of February.
Each of the 15 days of celebration has its own traditions like visiting parents in law, not leaving your house, gifting a red envelope with a small amount of money to younger relatives, cleaning the house to get rid of all the bad luck ghosts and, among many others, decorating everything red, the color feared by Nien, an extremely cruel and fierce beast, that according to Chinese belief, used to eat people on New Years Eve.
The twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac, especially the dragon, play an important role during the celebration. According to Chinese mythology, the population of this country descended from the dragon which is a symbol of wisdom, power and wealth, and whose dance is a ritual that attracts abundance and prosperity.
Next year will be the year of the goat and, according to Chinese Astrology, its friends the horse, the pig and the rabbit will have a great year. The goat’s enemy the ox, on the other hand, will not have great fortune.
In every culture, a new year means renovation and more opportunities to achieve our dreams. CESA School of Business wishes you a Happy New Year!