von Noah Kranz, 8D | 19 February 2021
This featured student work is a write-up on the recently celebrated Chinese New Year by student Noah Kranz and was submitted for publishing by Christoph-Boris Frank. The English translation follows.
The Chinese New Year
The celebration with the family
The Chinese New Year is celebrated every year between January 21 and February 20 on the 2nd new moon (rarely third) after the winter solstice. It is a new beginning and the biggest and most celebrated festival of the year, which is fondly called Lunar New Year or Spring Festival. In this festival the whole family from all over the country comes together. It is celebrated not only with the immediate family but also with the family spread far and wide in the country.
In China, it is not so normal, as for example in Germany, that you can just go somewhere for a short time, because for most Chinese the ticket for the train is too expensive, or they don't get one at all, because half a billion other Chinese also want to go to their home by train. In this case they have to go by car, which can be very exhausting, because there are often kilometer-long traffic jams, bus driving is also an option, which is also not easy, because there are only a few short breaks on sometimes naturally very long routes. Therefore, in China, people come together as a family only once a year, because many of them are migrant workers. They bring a lot of gifts with them for the whole family. When they all arrive home, the whole family rejoices. After the welcome, the men decorate the house with red and gold decorations, which are supposed to bring good luck, wealth and health. The women cook elaborate food, with lots of meat and very spicy. After that, a traditional firecracker chain is lit and the fireworks go on all night.
Traditions on the feast day
Likewise, there are many other traditions, such as the Chinese dragon. A legend says that every year a kind of dragon comes to the city from the mountains. To scare it off, people set off loud firecrackers and decorate their houses red and gold, because the dragon is apparently very sensitive to noise, while the red and gold decoration deflects it back.
Another tradition is to clean the house with bamboo branches on the 20th day of the eleventh month. And also in general before the New Year everything is renewed: people paint walls, buy new clothes, visit the hairdresser and go shopping. Likewise, on New Year's Day, people open the doors to let happiness in and, so to speak, renew the house in the spiritual sense (positive energy).
After the first day of the New Year, they visit friends and relatives and give them red envelopes filled with money. These envelopes are meant for protection from evil spirits. It is also a tradition of the Chinese to have a different sign of the zodiac every year. In 2021, it will be the Ox and in 2020 it was the Rat. These animals confer powers. The different signs of the zodiac represent different character traits, powers and, according to belief, distinguish strengths for certain professions. However, it must be noted that the Chinese New Year begins on a certain day in February, depending on the new moon. Thus, January and the corresponding days in February still slip into the old year. In summary, the Chinese New Year is the most important festival for the Chinese and the festival of the family.
This means the zodiac sign of buffalo. (see image above)
Buffaloes are very hardworking, reliable, ambitious and determined. If you have a buffalo as your best friend, you know where you stand, because they are extremely honest and sincere. This also applies to relationships or at work: Give up? Not with him! Buffaloes work persistently and with a lot of patience until they reach their goal. Before that, however, they have to draw up an exact plan of action. Women born under the sign of Buffalo are often housewives with heart and soul, who attach importance to marriage and children. Because: the sign is very traditional. Their weakness: people of the sign of Buffalo are not the most talkative contemporaries and prefer to keep to themselves. Therefore, they are often found in industry, IT, engineering or pharmaceuticals. However, this year (2021) according to the traditional horoscope, is the year of the metal buffalo which means that it is a special year.