Some celebrants call it the Spring Festival, a period of time that signals the progress of the Chinese lunar calendar; Others know it as the Chinese New Year. For 15 days from the 5th of February this year, China will welcome the year of the pig, one of 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac sign.
Unusual? Do not worry: look at 10 facts on how one sixth of the world's population registers in the new year.
. 1 THE HOLIDAY WAS ORIGINAL TO CUT A MONSTER.
As legend has it, many of the hallmarks of the Chinese New Year in an ancient land are frightened by Nian, a ferocious monster that dates to the first day of the year would wait to terrorize villagers. On the advice of a wise old sage, the citizens used loud noises of drums, firecrackers and the color red to deter him – everything remains today part of the celebration.
. 2 Many families use it as a motivation to clean the house.
While the methods to honor the Chinese New Year have changed over the years, it was originally started as an opportunity for households, to clean their quarters of "huiqi" or the breaths of those who were in the area. The families performed meticulous cleansing rituals to honor the deities they believed they would visit. The holiday is still used as a time to bring out cleaning supplies, although the job should be done before it officially starts.
. 3 IT WILL PROMPT MILLION OUTFLOWS.
As the Chinese New Year puts the emphasis on family ties, hundreds of millions of people will use the lunar period to travel home. Taking cars, trains, planes and other means of transport into account, it is estimated that the holiday will generate nearly three billion trips within 15 days.
. 4 IT UNVEILS MANY MONITORING.
While not all revelers sign embedded beliefs about what they should not do during the Chinese New Year, others try to observe their best by some very special prohibitions. It is believed that visiting a hospital or taking medicines causes health problems. Lending or borrowing promotes debt; weeping children can bring bad luck.
. 5 SOME PEOPLE RENT FRIENDS OR FRIENDS TO SAOTHE PARENTS.
In China, it is sometimes frowned upon to stay single when you enter your thirties. When singles return home to visit their parents, some opt for a person who presents themselves as their significant other person, making them appear as if they are in a relationship, avoiding the scolding of their parents. Rent-a-boyfriends or girlfriends receive an average of $ 145 per day.
. 6 RED ENVELOPES ARE EVERYWHERE.
A tradition often observed during the Spring Festival is to give gifts with red envelopes containing money. (The color red symbolizes energy and luck.) New bills are expected; old, crumpled money is a sign of laziness. People sometimes walk around with cash envelopes if they meet someone they need to give a gift to. If someone offers you an envelope, it is best to take it with both hands and open it privately.
. 7 IT MAY CREATE RECORD LEVELS FROM SMOG.
Fireworks are a cornerstone of the Spring Festival in China, but tradition has more dangers than explosive glitches. Cities like Beijing can increase particulate pollution 15-fold. In 2016, Shanghai banned the lighting of fireworks in the metropolitan area.
. 8 BLACK CLOTHES ARE A BATH OMEN.
So are white dresses. In China, both black and white clothing is traditionally associated with grief and should be avoided during the lunar month. The red, colorful clothes that are popular for the holiday symbolizes happiness.
. 9 It leads to aircraft that are full of cherries.
Cherries are such a popular food item during the festival that suppliers need to go to the top to meet demand – most recently Singapore Airlines flew four this year Chartered jets in Southeast Asian and North Asian territories. In time for the festivities, more than 300 tons were delivered.
10th Panda Express hopes she hangs out in the US.
Although their Chinese menu is closer to the Americanized price, the Panda Express franchise still hopes the US will be more involved in the festival. The chain promotes holidays at their sites by running commercials and giving away a red envelope with a gift: a voucher for free food. In addition to a business upswing, Panda Express wants to raise awareness of the popular holiday in North America.
A version of this story was originally published in 2017.