Chinese New Year – Year of the Metal Rat

Chinese New Year 2020 : When is it?

The Chinese New Year 2020 or the Spring Festival (Lunar New Year) is celebrated on Saturday, January 25th , according to the traditional Chinese Calendar. In the Chinese astrology, each year is represented by an animal. 2020 is the year of the Metal Rat, which is predicted to be a lucky year. The rat has also been celebrated in 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008. The Rat has the first position in the zodiac. The Rat is a representation of diligence, kindness, and generosity. The Chinese New Year, one of the world’s most important and popular festivals is the cause of the largest annual mass human migration in the world.

The chinese calendar is not like the Gregorian calendar, and the first day of Chinese New Year starts with the new moon, that appears between January 21 and February 20(on january 25 2020), and the last day known as Lantern festival (February 8 2020), celebrated with night lantern displays, ends 15 days later on the full moon.

What are the festivities?

New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve are celebrated with family. Traditionally, family celebrations were religious affairs, given in honour of the household and ancestors. The most important religious ritual was the sacrifice to the ancestors. Loved ones, dearly departed, are remembered with greatest respect as they are responsible for the present and future good family fortune. The family celebration on New Year’s Eve is known as the “surrounding the stove” or weilu. This comprises of a dinner arranged for the spirits of the ancestors, together with the living and represents past and present, and one strong community.

The most important New Year custom is for married couples to give lucky money called ‘lay-see’ or Ang Bao to unmarried relatives, especially children. ‘Lay-see’ or Ang bao is a red packet containing ‘lucky money’ which people believe will bring luck to both the receiver and giver. Older family members must also give lucky money to all those who are younger in the family, including those who are married. In Chinese and other Asian cultures, a red envelope is a monetary gift, usually given to children on New Year for prosperity and good luck. It is customary that both the envelopes and the money inside are brand new. (Children absolutely rake in the cash!)

Spring Festival: The 15 days of Lunar New Year

Day one – January 25, 2020 The first day of the Metal Rat lunar New Year . The gods of heaven and earth are welcomed and meat is avoided to promote longevity and happiness

Day two : Prayers are sent to the gods and ancestors.

Day three and four Son-in-laws pay respect to their bride’s parents.

Day five : Named Po Woo, this day is spent at home to welcome the God of Wealth. It is bad luck to visit anyone on this day.

Days six to ten : The Chinese are now free to visit their loved ones, and pray for good fortune in the temples.

Day seven: The birthday of all humans celebrated with a drink made by the farmers from seven types of vegetable. Raw fish is eaten to promote success, and noodles for longevity.

Day eight: Prayers are sent at midnight from the Fujian people, to Tian Gong, the God of Heaven.

Day nine: Offerings are made to the jade Emperor.

Days 10 to 12: Invites are sent to friends and relatives, to visit for dinner.

Day 13: Simple foods are eaten so as to detox after rich foods at friends and relatives.

Day 14: Time is taken for preparation for the Lantern Festival celebration on the 15th night.

Day 15: Jai, a vegetarian dish is enjoyed by the family. 

Link to source information: https://www.thechinesezodiac.org/lunar-new-year-facts/

So many festivities and displays to see and partake in. Here a a few photos.

iPhone Images

Universal Studios

Old Storage supplies

Changi Airport

Decorations at Nex shopping mall

Orchard Road

Kinex Mall

Rover Hongbao

Fairprice

ChinaTown

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