Imagine celebrating New Year for sixteen days. Well, if you’re Chinese that’s no problem because Chinese New Year or Spring Festival starts on Chinese New Year’s Eve and goes on until the 15th day of the new calendar.
New Year falls on the new moon
The First day of the New Year falls on the new moon between 21st January and 20th February, which is the 28th January this year. Legend has it the celebrations around New Year were the result of attempts to control a creature called the Nian which turned up at this time. The Nian had a taste for human flesh, so it was decided the locals would hide from the monster. The same day an old man arrived saying he would stay overnight in the village. The man covered the village with red paper and set off firecrackers. When the villagers returned they were shocked to see the old man and the village still intact. They realised the Nian hated the colour red and loud noises; so every New Year they decorated the village with red lanterns and scrolls and dressed in red clothes. They also made sure to let off plenty of firecrackers. Needless to say the Nian never returned.