1st February 2022: THE YEAR OF TIGER
This year, Chinese New Year falls on February 1st. Also known as Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival, it is an important holiday in China. Tied to the Chinese lunar calendar, the holiday is a time for celebrating and feasting, along with honoring household and heavenly deities and ancestors. Inscribed oracle bones with astronomical records indicate that the calendar existed as early as 14th century B.C. Because the Lunar New Year depends on the moon, the date of Chinese New Year changes each year, but it will always fall between January 21st and February 20th.
2022 is the Year of the Water Tiger. The tiger is known as the king of all beasts in China and is associated with bravery, confidence and strength. Also known to be strong-willed, opinionated and stubborn, the tiger years are 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022, 2034.
Along with celebrations with family and friends, Chinese New Year includes traditions, superstitions and food. For cultural custom, businesses will close for the day in order to focus on home and family. It’s considered important to take the day to enjoy yourself, eat well and do things you enjoy. Prior to the big day, houses and businesses are thoroughly cleaned to rid them of the previous year. It is akin to starting off with a clean slate.
10 Chinese New Year superstitions
Whether you believe it or not, here are some superstitions to ponder.
- Don't sweep or take out garbage. The idea here is that if you do this on New Year’s Day, you’ll be sweeping wealth away or taking good fortune out of the house by taking out the garbage.
- Use your words wisely. Refrain from swear words or arguing. Speak of prosperity and good luck so that more of that will be welcome in the upcoming year.
- Avoid washing hair and getting a haircut. It is seen as “washing one’s fortune away” at the beginning of the year. Get a new haircut or get a new hairstyle before Chinese New Year for a new look and start in the upcoming year.
- Along with no hair washing, don't wash clothes. According to Chinese lore, to wash clothes is regarded as disrespect to the god of water. Wait three days after the new year to do your laundry.
- Avoid using scissors or knives as they are sharp and believed to “cut ties” with friends and family.
- When giving red envelopes containing money to children, make sure the amount is even. Chinese believe even numbers are lucky. The only exception to this rule is unlucky numbers such as 4 and 40 because the number 4 sounds like the word “death” in Chinese.
- Wear red because it’s vibrant and the same color as the envelopes that contain money. Avoid wearing white as it represents mourning or death.
- Chinese believe wearing new clothes and shoes will symbolize wealth and abundance in the upcoming year. Consequently, if purchasing a new outfit is not within your budget, avoid wearing damaged clothes as they symbolize "rags."
- Avoid lending and borrowing money.
- Avoid visiting hospitals.
While some of these superstitions sound unavoidable or “out there,” they’re based on old rites that have been passed through the ages, so proceed with a grain of salt and enjoy the new year.