Everyone loves a fireworks display, and no one does it better than the Chinese. Remember the Beijing OIympics? Well, Chinese New Year celebrations all over the world will feature stunning, first-class fireworks. The Chinese believe that fireworks drive away evil, so this is a tradition that they never skip. Plus, it’s said that he who launches the first firework of the new year will have good luck.
The Chinese love to eat, and with good reason: Their food is amazing. Go to a Chinese New Year celebration, and you’ll see that the food keeps coming all night long. Fish and dumplings, in particular, are traditional dishes for New Year feasts. It’s a family affair, too—the Chinese always get together with their families for the holiday, no matter how far away they live.
3. Red Packets
If you’re an adult celebrating Chinese New Year for the first time, you’ve missed out on your red packet years. They’re beautifully embossed envelopes full of money given from adults to children to signify good health and good luck in the new year. Looking to see Chinese children at their happiest? Watch their faces when they open their red packets.
4. Spring Cleaning Done Early
What’s the worst part about spring cleaning? The fact that you have to do it while you long for the outdoors on the first days of spring. Well, pick up a Chinese schedule and get rid of that problem for good. To signify ushering out the old and welcoming in the new, the Chinese do a complete cleaning of their homes for the new year. Do the same, and you’ll be enjoying spring weather at the first possible opportunity.
5. Zodiac Signs
If you were born in 1955, 1967, 1979 or 1991, you’re a goat, and this is your year. Well, at least according to Chinese astrology. The Chinese zodiac signs rotate on a 12-year cycle, and each sign carries its own traits, just like in the Western horoscopes. If you have a Chinese friend, maybe buy her some carnations or primroses for the new year—those are the lucky flowers for 2015.
Just like with fireworks and feasts, the Chinese won’t be outdone when it comes to parades. Dragons, confetti and a huge crowd of people excited for what the new year holds. Stop by your local Chinatown for their Chinese New Year parade and it will be an experience you never forget.
7. It Lasts 15 Days
Think a night of celebration sounds like a good time? Well, how does two weeks sound? If you have a Chinese lady in your life, get ready for a lot of partying in the next two weeks. In the world’s largest country, it doesn’t get any bigger than Chinese New Year.