The Chinese New Year begins Monday, February 8, and millions of people will celebrate for approximately 15 days. The New Year festival is centuries old and holds great significance because of several myths and traditions associated with it. Traditionally, the festival was a time to honour deities and ancestors.
Official celebrations last for seven days, starting on the eve of February 7, and ending on February 13. People are given at least 7 consecutive days off, but some get an entire 2 weeks to spend times with loved ones, relax and celebrate.
Each Chinese New Year is characterized by one of 12 animals that appear in the Chinese zodiac. 2016 is the Year of the Red or Fire Monkey.
People born in the Year of the Monkey are thought to be witty, curious, innovative and mischievous and intelligent, especially in their career and health. Other less favourable traits include being suspicious, cunning, selfish, arrogant and jealous.
The Year of the Monkey is considered to be an unlucky year for people born during this year – but monkeys thrive on being challenged.
Traditionally, red envelopes or red packets containing money are passed out during the celebrations. Chocolates are also common. Though the amount can vary, the value should be of even numbers, as odd numbers are associated with cash given during funerals. 6 and 8 are considered lucky, but stay away from 4; its homophone is death.
Paper lanterns, dragon and lion dances and decorations are also prevalent during this celebration period.
Whether you’re celebrating for one day or two week, Hammond International Properties wishes everyone a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.