On the account of the fact that the Chinese New Year is also called the Chinese Lunar New Year, many think that the Chinese New Year is decided on the basis of the lunar calendar alone, but the truth is that it is decided on the basis of a lunisolar calendar. The Chinese New Year is a fifteen day festival that starts at the end of the Chinese winter that is on the first day of Zh?ng Yuè, the first Chinese month. As is obvious, the festival ends on the fifteenth day with a traditional Lantern Festival. Both according to the myth and traditionally, the Chinese New Year is the most celebrated and the biggest of all the festivals that are celebrated by the Chinese.
One must understand that China is a huge country and thus the traditions related to the New Year celebrations is not the same in all parts of China but certain activities like family suppers, red paper cutouts of different shapes and sizes, as well as cleaning out one’s home, are just certain things which are common in all of China. The red paper is used to make decorative cutouts for the windows, doors and other places of the house; they represent positive hopes of health or happiness among others. The Chinese clean their homes thoroughly during the Chinese New Year because it is observed as a gesture of cleaning away old bad luck to make room for the new good luck that should come along with the new year. After the supper is over, the most popular and fun part of the nights begin with the display of magnificent fireworks that light up the sky throughout the night. The Chinese also exchange gifts between family and friends during the celebration.
The history of the Chinese New Year and its tradition of using red paper cutouts involve a fantastic story in Chinese mythology. Nian, the monster ate up crops and the livestock along with the children that it found on the first night of every New Year. In order to save themselves, the villagers began to keep food outside the door every first night of the New Year, every year. It worked and the Nian spared them after eating the offerings. The tradition continued until they managed to discover by accident that the Nian is scared of the color red. They used this weakness of the beast towards red color, along with firecrackers to scare the monster away till it went away forever.