2022 is the Year of the Tiger.
You may have heard it called Chinese New Year because it's widely celebrated in China, but more recently it's been updated to be called the Lunar New Year because more countries other than China celebrate this event.
It's also known as Spring Festival. It is to symbolize the coldest days are behind us, agricultural planting begins, praying to gods for good harvest and fortune. Spring is on the horizon!
Lunar New Year - falls on a different date each year, between January 20 and February 21 of each year. This all depends on the cycle of the moon. Celebration lasts a little over 2 weeks each year, but only the first 7 days are a public holiday.
Each year is symbolized by an animal of the Chinese zodiac based on ancient Chinese mythology. There are 12 animals total and repeat in the same order every 12 years and 2022 is the Year of the Tiger!
According to legend, people used to hide from a monster named Nian. Nian would come out from the mountains every New Year's Eve at midnight to destroy crops and animals, and wreak havoc on people. As time went on, people found out that Nian was terrified of loud sounds, bright lights, and the color red. One year the people stayed up and chased Nian away with loud sounds, bright lights and the color red. This why people stay up until midnight to let off fireworks ringing in the new (lunar). Firecrackers are said to ward off monsters and bad luck from entering the new year.
Showering isn't allowed on New Year's Day and sweeping and taking out the trash isn't permitted until the 5th day as not to rid one's life of the good luck. Also everything is donned of red. The color red is said to be good luck and to keep negative things away.
Lastly, the Lantern Festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the event. Lanterns are lit and released in the sky which signifies the final day of the event. Lanterns originally were "god's seat" as people gave offerings. Lanterns were also a sign that one was safe after an attack representing hope, happiness, and success, but now they are used for wishes.
What an interesting holiday, right?
However you are celebrating, we at An Otter Milestone want to wish you a Happy Lunar New Year and Spring Festival! We wish all good luck and good fortune in the new year!