新年快乐 - Happy Chinese New Year!!!
This year we celebrate the Year of the Monkey! Beginning on February 8th and finishing on January 27th, 2017. Naturally we feel it's the right time to give you a little bit of a background check on the Chinese New Year, along with some epic content from our travellers out in China.
Before we go into detail, let's start things off with the following video (which came from a Real Gap Experience traveller in 2015) to get you into spirit, clear the mind and provide a glimpse into what travelling China is all about...
Chinese New Year is also recognised as the Spring Festival, part of the lunisolar Chinese calendar - hence why the dates change year on year. Festivities generally start the day before the New Year and continue until the Lantern Festival - on the 15th day of the New Year. This involves paper lanterns of all shapes and sizes (even animal shaped) being lit and either hung up or released into the sky.
So what are the animals all about?! Well, each Chinese New Year is characterised by one of twelve animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac, this like the western equivalent contains twelve blocks. Instead of constructing months, each of the twelve Chinese blocks last a whole year!
This year we see the Year of the Monkey, the ninth animal in the Chinese calendar, essentially there are twelve blocks characterised by animals with coming around ever (you guessed it!) twelve years. Therefore the next Year of the Monkey will be in 2028, simple right?!
Those born in the Year of the Monkey are deemed as quick-witted, curious, innovative and mischievous, although it is also thought to be one of the most unlucky years in the Chinese calendar. This zodiac sign is of being smart, clever and intelligent, especially in career and wealth.
Hopefully that clears any misunderstanding and gives you more of an insight into this often misinterpreted annual occasion. From all at Real Gap Experience we wish you the very best in the Year of the Monkey!
If you have the desire to get out there and discover China why not check out our highly rated China Experience!