When is Chinese New Year 2017? The first day of it is on Saturday, 28 January and is the most important holiday in the Asian culture and marks the change of the year according to the Chinese calendar. As you probably know, the date is different every year on the Gregorian (internationally-used) calendar, between January 21th and February 20th. Chinese New Year 2017 will be a year of the Rooster.
What to expect from the year of the Rooster? What are the traditional decorations, how to celebrate Chinese New Year 2017? We shall look at the traditions, the type of gifts that are suitable to give to friends and family, we shall look at the Chinese horoscope and what the year of the Rooster will bring to us.
Chinese New Year 2017 celebrations will last as long as 15 days and will end on the night of Spring Festival. Many people are planning a trip to China to take part in the celebrations or enjoy the numerous events and festivals. It you plan a trip for the Chinese New Year you may want to plan your trip for the second half of the celebrations, so as not to miss a truly breathtaking event – the Festival of Lanterns that ends the celebration of the new year. In 2017, the Lantern Festival in China will take place on 11 February.
We shall give you some decoration ideas for Chinese New Year 2017. Create a holiday atmosphere characterized by warmth, joy, peace and prosperity. China is a vast country, and the traditions of the inhabitants of northern villages and the southern provinces are often very different from each other. However, decorations are important as they have a deep symbolic meaning.
The beginning of the preparations for the Chinese New Year starts with cleaning the home, throw away all the trash and unnecessary items that have accumulated over the year. Every street, building and house is decorated in red color. Red is the main color of the celebrations, as it is considered auspicious. Red lanterns are hanging on the streets, red couplets (short poem with wishes on red paper) are glued on the doors of banks and official buildings are decorated with images of prosperity. Since 2017 is the year of the Rooster, ornaments associated with the rooster will also be widely used – rooster toys for children, as well as New Year’s pictures of a rooster.
Paper cutting is the art of cutting patterns into the paper and you have to glue them to contrasting or transparent surfaces. It is not uncommon for people in northern and central China, to put red paper cutting on the doors and the windows. Images of favorable plants or animals are usually cut for the New Year, for example, the peach symbolizes longevity, pomegranate – fertility, tangerines – love, pine – eternal youth, peony – honor and wealth.
Of course, you will not see a Christmas tree as a decoration for the Chinese New Year in any home. The hosts generously fill trays with oranges and tangerines, placing them in different parts of the house. In each tray or basket should be no more and no less than eight fruits, as the number eight is a symbol of longevity and infinite good and they should be arranged form of a circle or an octagon.
When is Chinese New Year 2017 – ideas for gifts and New Year’s wishes
As per the traditions, for the coming Chinese New Year 2017 adults should give children money wrapped in red paper, which symbolizes the wish of prosperity and success of the family of the child. The tradition of giving money comes from a legend for a family who had only one child. The parents were afraid that an evil spirit may kill their baby and decided to spend New Year’s Eve at the bedside of the child. They prepared a few coins for the baby and began to teach him how to wrap them in red paper, but after all, the parents got tired and fell asleep. They left the red bag with the coins near the baby. Night came and the evil spirit came for the child, but when he decided to pet the baby, all of a sudden, a golden burst of light appeared from the bag with the coins. The Evil spirit was frightened and ran away. Modern people may not believe in evil spirits, but Eve adults still give children money for good luck.
Chinese New Year wishes and congratulations for friends and relatives should be written on red paper. Traditionally, these are wishes for well-being, health and happiness. Numerous stores, shops and restaurants are decorated with festive wishes. If you want to write your New Year’s wishes on a white paper, the letters must be red.
It is important to know what you should not give as a present for the Chinese New Year. The culture of this country has its own traditions and it should be remembered that some of the gifts can be perceived incorrectly. To avoid mistakes when choosing them, read the list below.
Sharp objects like scissors are a bad gift. Giving someone a sharp object is a sign that you want to cease the relationship with that person.
Avoid anything having the number 4 as the figure 4 sounds the word for death and this number symbolizes death. Therefore, everything that is connected with this number is deemed to be a failure.
Giving footwear as a present for New Year is another bad idea. The word “shoes” in Chinese sounds exactly like “evil” and is not the best option for a gift.
Handkerchiefs – Chinese people usually give handkerchiefs at the end of a funeral, which symbolizes a farewell forever. Giving such a present to a friend, you seem to be implying that you want to part with him forever.
Clocks or wrist watches are to be avoided as well. In Chinese, the phrase “give a clock” sounds the same as “to attend the funeral” and is therefore considered that such a gift promises failure. In addition, the watch often symbolizes a lack of time.
Giving fruits is a good idea, except for the pear. The Chinese word for “pear” sounds the same as “break” or “leave”.
Cut flowers are not a good idea as they are usually given to a funeral! This applies particularly to any yellow chrysanthemums and white flowers, which symbolize death. In Chinese culture, white is considered as a color bringing failure (funeral), and therefore should not be selected as a New Year’s gift.
In most parts of Asia mirrors are considered to be bad gifts, as there is a belief that they attract evil spirits. In addition, they are easy to break, and broken things are a bad sign.
Chinese New Year 2017 – food and festive outfit ideas
On the first day of the New Year people of China are going on a family dinner at the parents’ house. The menu for Chinese New Year 2017 should feature the traditional meals which have symbolic value. Chinese cuisine for New Year’s celebrations is diverse and on the table you should have various meals. Meat and fish are a must. On the the holiday table fish, meat, and if possible a duck should be present so that luck will not be turned away. One more dish is traditional for New Year’s menu – dim sum, which is similar to dumplings. Those are prepared from ancient times for luck. Fish is a must for the traditional dish, because the Chinese word for “fish” sounds like the word “excess”. The local people believe that eating fish will bring more money and good luck during the coming year. Tangerines or oranges, sticky rice cakes and sweet rice balls are also traditional.
When choosing your festive outfit keep in mind that rooster loves beauty and grace. Choose bright colors of fire, and avoid the colors of water – blue, black, gray, etc.
Chinese New Year 2017 – how to avoid bad luck during the year of the Rooster
It is believed that people born in their zodiac year offend the Age of God and this is not a good year for them. Those who were born in a year of the rooster (1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005) should put some effort into avoiding bad luck. One of the ways is to wear red clothes as this color is one of the luckiest ones and can drive away bad luck. In addition red color is a symbol of prosperity, loyalty, success, and happiness. If you wear Jade accessories during your zodiac year, pendants, earrings, rings, or bracelets, is another way to ward off bad luck.