Six facts about Chinese New Year

It is time for Chinese New Year/Lunar New Year again. It will be the first day of to the Chinese/Lunar calendar. As a boring statistics blogger, this is going to be a statistics and facts post about the Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year is an official holiday in People’s Republic of China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, North Korea, South Korea, Republic of China, Brunei and the Philippines. Western nations like UK, US, Canada, New Zealand… have celebrations of Chinese New Year too. Japan celebrates Chinese New Year but they use the Gregorian calendar.

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Crowded train station during Chunyun

  1. Chunyun literally means “Spring transit”, is when all of Chinese who are outside of their hometown are moving back to celebrate Chinese New Year with their families. As China is the most populated country, it is the largest human migration and it means train tickets’ demand will be higher than the supply. Of course, there are always alternative transportation methods like planes and automobiles.  In 2016, about 2.9 billion of people were part of the Chunyun.
  2.  It is tough for singles, especially the old one. Every parent would love to see their children come home with their significant others. In Chinese New Year, the boyfriend/girlfriend rental industry becomes more popular because some children just want to “deceive” their parents. Of course, the price and service quality are varied to the different service provider.
  3. Billions of red envelopes were distributed every year. Elders giving red envelopes with money to the youth is an action of wishing them luck in the next year. Within the envelopes, there is money.
  4. It is the time when most of the firecracker and fireworks will be used. Chinese New Year has the long tradition of playing firecrackers. According to legends, firecrackers can scare the mighty Nian monster away. The Nian monster would come out in every new year to attack people but it scared of the sound of firecrackers. Hence in Chinese New Year, children will be playing firecracker in the street more than anytime within the year and adults will be firing firework at night to celebrate.

    Sculpture of the Nian from Ming Dynasty

  5. This is year 4715, year of the rooster in the Chinese calendar.
  6. Chinese New Year lasts 15 days, today is still considered as the Chinese New Year too. The last day of the new year is the Lantern Festival, in some area, it is considered as Valentine’s Day too
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