Chinese New Year, also gone by the name of Spring Festival or the Lunar New Year, is a celebration that commemorates the dawn of a new year on the ancient lunisolar Chinese calendar. The celebration is known as the Spring Festival in Chinese culture and East Asian nations because the spring season in the lunisolar calendar historically begins with ‘lichun,’ the first of the twenty-four solar terms celebrated around the time of the Lunar New Year.
Celebrations usually take place from New Year’s Eve, the eve before the first day of the year, until the Lantern Festival, observed on the 15th day of the year, to mark the end of winter and the dawn of the spring season. The first day of the Chinese New Year begins with the appearance of the new moon between 21 January and 20 February.
Happy Lunar New Year! Chinese New Year background
Several beliefs and practices surround the Chinese New Year. The celebration was historically used to worship both ancestors and deities. Ethnic customs and traditions of the New Year’s celebration vary greatly within China.
The evening prior to New Year’s Day is generally seen as a time for Chinese families to assemble for the annual reunion supper and exchange Chinese New Year greetings and Chinese New Year goodies.
It is also customary for families to carefully tidy their homes in order to hush away any bad luck and create a place for good luck. Another tradition is decorating windows and doors with Chinese New Year’s decorations such as red paper cuttings and couplets. In these notes, success, contentment, money, and longevity are hot topics. Other festivities include firing firecrackers and distributing paper money and gifts in red paper envelopes.
History of the lunar new year
During the annual Spring Festival, a mythological beast called the Nian (a beast that dwells underneath the sea or in the peaks of mountains) began the Chinese New Year, according to stories and traditions. In the middle of the night, Nian would consume residents, particularly youngsters.
One year, the entire hamlet decided to ward off the beast. Before the people fled into hiding, an elderly guy emerged and vowed he would get retribution on the Nian. The elderly guy hung red paper and set off firecrackers. The people returned to their town the next day and saw that nothing had been damaged. They mistook the old guy for a spirit that had come to help them.
The old chap had found that the Nian was terrified of the color red and harsh sounds, the villagers realized. When the New Year arrived, the villagers would dress in red, place red lanterns and spring scrolls on doors and windows, and use firecrackers and drums to scare away the Nian. Nian never returned to the village after that. This is why the color red dominates Chinese New Year decorations, and almost all Chinese New Year songs tell the story of the beast.
Chinese New Year 2022 in Singapore: How do they do it?
Singaporeans have put their own spin on Chinese New Year celebrations over the years, blending new and old elements. Cleansing the home and preparing the household union feast are all customs of the Chinese New Year.
Red Chinese New Year decorations are literally everywhere, and it’s customary to wear something red to fend off evil spirits. After supper, the family spends the evening playing cards, board games, or watching special television programs.
Singapore’s Chinatown is always busy, but it comes to life around the Chinese New Year with colorful market stalls (you can get much more than Chinese New Year cookies and Chinese New Year snacks), Chinese New Year goodies (such as pineapple tarts and nian gao – sweet and sticky rice cakes), and displays of classic lion or dragon dances.
Shop for hong bao, the red packets that parents present to their children loaded with money in exact numbers (for luck), and anything imprinted with the character “fu,” which indicates “good luck” – these make fantastic keepsakes.
Chinese New Year food
On New Year’s Eve, entire families assemble around the tables for a feast that usually includes a fish dish, that is evocative of prosperity and abundance in wealth.
Long noodles are usually eaten over the first five days of the New Year to reflect a long and healthy life. Spherical dumplings fashioned like a full moon are shared on the 15th and final day of the New Year as a symbol of family unity and completeness.
Get something for your loved ones this Chinese New Year in Singapore
A Chinese New Year celebration would be incomplete without the traditional presents that you may offer to those you care about. If you’re concerned about your budget, utilize the Atome app to divide your recent purchases for Chinese New Year 2022.
What is Atome?
Atome is a ‘buy now, pay later’ app (download the app) that collaborates with over 5,000 businesses to provide its consumers with flexible payment choices. This means you may shop from over 5,000 retailers throughout Chinese New Year and divide your expenditure into three interest-free monthly payments. Atome does not charge any service fees or interest.
To discover more about Atome and its merchants, go to https://www.atome.sg/.