When the first day of the Chinese New Year arrived in 2016, it was proclaimed as “The Year of the Monkey.” This important annual Chinese festival celebrates various culturally linked animals; while also honoring the culture’s various deities and ancestors. Chinese New Year is a time to “sweep away any ill-fortune,” and to prepare the way for good luck, say Chinese festival fans commenting on-line.
Another aspect of Chinese New Year celebrations for 2016 is linking this year’s “monkey” symbol to mythology that dates back thousands of years to when this annual celebration first started. Flash forward to present times, and the start of Chinese New Year is celebrated worldwide as a public holiday in China and other Far East countries, while Americans also pause to consider how the 2016 monkey symbol may also bring them good fortune. The New Year celebration is usually marked with people wearing red clothing, hanging lots of red lanterns and other red-colored decorations and lots of fireworks.
Cultural links to New Year
The famed Chinese New Year features lots of various cultural and religious celebrations. The significance of this annual holiday is linked to the first 15 days of the lunar New Year as noted on the Chinese or lunisolar calendar.
The Chinese New Year celebrations include:
- A massive gathering of family and friends to party and honor deceased relatives.
- A parade with dragon and lion dances in colorful Chinese styled costumes and displays.
- A huge family meal for visiting friends and family to visit and pray for luck in the coming year.
- The act of giving “red envelopes” that are decorated with the year’s designated animal or other cultural symbols.
In general, this annual spring festival is dubbed as “Chinese New Year” celebrations worldwide in what has become a very fun and public annual parade and accompanying special events. Chinese populations worldwide use this annual celebration to not only celebrate but also reflect on losses in the past year and how this year’s designated animal will hopefully bring good luck in 2016.
Chinese New Year celebrates “monkey” in 2016
There are always strong emotions being displayed and even felt in various Chinese communities worldwide each New Year because this annual remembrance evokes lots of nostalgia for the past, while looking forward to a better future. The New Year always includes the recognition of an animal that has played a prominent role in Chinese history. For instance, the goat was proclaimed as the Chinese New Year animal in 2015 because of the goat’s significance in Chinese cultural throughout the centuries.
While 2016 has been proclaimed as the “Year of the Monkey,” this annual act of honoring this animal will not occur again until 2018 or 2040 when the monkey will again have its own year as part of the lore of the Chinese New Year.
Monkey honored in 2016
The subject of the 2016 Chinese New Year celebrations is a monkey; while honored with senior members of the family sharing historical stories and legends about the role of the monkey in Chinese life. Meanwhile, the Chinese people decorate their homes with happy monkey themed art and imagines to present a prosperous spring festival atmosphere. At the same time, there are many special foods that are symbolic when it comes to properly celebrating the New Year. For example, they are monkey shaped Chinese cookie treats that children enjoy; while a popular Chinese sticky rice cake is also a favorite.
Ringing the bells on Chinese New Year
There are lots and lots of bells being rung nationwide and worldwide, as Chinese people view the bell as a traditional symbol when it comes to brining in another Chinese New Year. The Chinese think that ringing a bell or a series of bells will help drive away bad luck, and bring needed good fortune. The tradition dates back to ancient times when many Chinese temples featured massive bells that were run on their New Year’s Eve at midnight and during the celebration days. As with most other Chinese New Year traditions, the Chinese people embrace the past as the best way and means to prepare for the future.
Happy Chinese New Year
Overall, the Chinese think that what they do on the very first day of the Chinese New Year or new lunar year affects their lives in the coming year. The Chinese people believe if they do good things, than good luck will happen. Thus, they embrace setting of fireworks as a way to go big during this special time of celebrating both luck and this year of the monkey. +