Michaelian Home wishes everyone a Happy Chinese New Year!! Today, February 8th, 2016 marks the start of the new lunar year, the year of the Monkey! Roughly speaking, if you were born in 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016 then you were born under the chinese zodiac sign of the monkey. I say roughly because the chinese calendar does not coincide perfectly with the Gregorian calendar so if you were born in January or early February, you would want to check to see what dates the new lunar year started to be sure of your sign. You can check here https://en.wikipedia.org/
wiki/Chinese_New_Year to find out the exact dates.
Chinese New Year has been celebrated for centuries. It is an important festival celebrated at the turn of the traditional lunar-solar Chinese calendar. It is also known as the Spring Festival, the literal translation of the modern Chinese name. Celebrations traditionally run from the evening preceding the first day to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first calendar month. That is 15 days of celebrations with specific rituals and traditions for each day! 15 days! Many Chinese businesses completely shut down for about 3 weeks to allow for celebrations. Since China is such an integral part of the global economy this has a ripple effect throughout the world. U.S. companies (our included!) have to prepare months in advance knowing that Chinese business grinds to a halt during this period of festivities.
Chinese New Year is such an important holiday in areas with large asian descent populations that even the New York City Public Schools and San Francisco schools have declared today a holiday and the schools are closed. The first day of celebrations (today!) are typically marked with firework celebrations and everyone trying to make as much noise as possible to ward off evil spirits,misfortune and to hail only good things for the coming year! Money is given in red paper envelopes, windows are decorated with red paper cut-outs with the words 'good fortune', 'wealth', 'happiness' and houses are thorougly cleaned to 'sweep away' bad fortune and make way for good luck.
According to the Chinese zodiac, those born under the sign of the monkey are said to be intelligent, optimistic, romantic, sociable, confident, agile, curious as well as restless and reckless. Lucky numbers for the year are 1,7 and 8 and lucky colors are white, gold and blue.
Now that you are armed with more information about this incredible global holiday, join in on the fun! From our home to yours, Michaelian Home wishes good fortune for the new lunar year to everyone! I don't know about you but I certainly feel inspired to celebrate for the next 15 days straight! Happy New Year all you Monkeys!