Happy New Year!

Or, translated in Mandarin: Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Today marks the start of the Chinese New Year, the Asian country’s most important holiday. The first day of the year is determined by the lunar Chinese calendar, so the date changes, but it always falls between the end of January and mid-February.  The celebration is centered around the home and family, and its traditions are honored in the hopes of good health and fortune for the coming year.

Each Chinese New Year is characterized by one of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac.  2016 is the year of the red monkey, the ninth animal in the cycle. If you are born in the year of the red “fire” monkey, you are said to be ambitious and adventurous, intelligent and clever.  But there’s also your mischievous side, and your quick temper, too, much like your namesake.

You might also be wise to keep in mind a few of the Chinese New Year beliefs.

-Taking medicine on the first day of the lunar year means one will be sick for the entire year.

-Make sure you ignore the urge to clean house today.  Sweeping on the first day means your wealth will be swept away, too.

-And be sure to keep the kids happy today. The cry of a child is believed to bring bad luck to the family.

Dive deep into the rich history of the world’s most populous country and learn more about its distinct culture with CuriosityStream.  Explore China’s greatest monument with our 2 part series China’s Great Wall.  And travel back in time to meet the rulers, rebels and renegades who laid the foundation of China’s preeminent city in Beijing: Biography of an Imperial Capital.  Here’s a preview of our 3 part series:

 

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

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