Chinese New Year (CNY), also known as Lunar New Year, Sin Cia, Imlek (locally in Indonesia), or Spring Festival,is one of China’s & Chinese culture most important festival, as well as being the most important celebration for families.
Chinese New Year 2020 falls on Saturday, January 25, 2020, it marks the beginning of The year of the Rat.
The date of the Chinese New Year is not determined by universal calendar, but instead was determined by the lunar calendar: the holiday falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice on December 21. Thus, each time the New Year in China falls on different dates of the usual Gregorian calendar, between January 21 and February 20. It means that for Chinese people, years begin at Chinese New Year, rather than January 1.
Why is it being called Spring Festivals?
Eventhough being in winter for most of China, the Chinese New Year is popularly known as The Springs Festivals in China. Because it starts from the Beginning of Spring (the first of the twenty-four terms in coordination with the changes of Nature) and marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
The Spring Festival marks a new year on the lunar calendar and represents the desire for a new life.
The festival has a history of over 3,000 years. Celebrations on lunar New Year’s Day can be dated back to the ancient worship of heaven and earth. Over the centuries new traditions were added and celebrations became more entertainment-orientated.
The Lunar Calendar
Lunar Calendar, which follows the cycles of the moon is still used to determine holidays that are celebrated in China and many other parts of the world that trace their culture to ancient Chinese history.
Farmers in many parts of the country also still use the calendar to plan when to put seeds in the ground for optimal harvests.
There are 350 or so days in a Lunar Calendar Year, but it takes the Earth 365 and a quarter to go around the sun. To square the difference, the Lunar Calendar uses so-called intercalary months. Think Leap Years, but instead of an additional day at the end of every four Februarys, a whole month is added every two or three years.
The benefits of a lunisolar calendar (Chinese Calendar) are to easily being able to tell the phases of the moon and tidal patterns. But the drawback is they don’t allow you to pinpoint where the Earth is in relation to the sun and more practically, it’s harder to align the months exactly with the seasons. Ancient Chinese People and their emperor believe that the use of Chinese Lunisolar Calendar is a mandate of heaven. If it’s heaven speaking.. then who wants to challenge the mandate?
Contributor: Benaya Stephen
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