Chinese New Year is the most important traditional holiday in China. The new year is under the sign of the water tiger. As a water element, it stands for spontaneity and novelty.
MBS Speditionsgesellschaft is a globally active medium-sized company with strong Asian expertise. Reason enough for us to look to the East and learn more about the Year of the Tiger. Our colleague Sophie Liu from MBS Xiamen was on hand to answer our questions:
The Chinese New Year is considered the most important traditional festival. What makes it so special?
Exactly. It is the most important traditional holiday in China and so special to the Chinese that it is not just a holiday, but an important cultural celebration. A festival where the Chinese family comes together, shares happiness and celebrates the harvest together, it is a festival full of joy and happiness. It is a festival to draw strength for the coming year.
Why does the New Year always fall on a different day?
This is because in China the lunar calendar is used as the traditional calendar, which is different from the solar calendar (Western calendar). Our calendar has been continuously improved, enriched and perfected over the millennia, so that today it is used as the lunar calendar. The lunar calendar is essentially a lunisolar calendar, focusing on the cycle of the moon’s movement while balancing the cycle of the earth around the sun.
According to the lunar calendar, every year in January, the first lunar month, is the Spring Festival. So it is a different day each year from the western calendar, but the same day in the lunar calendar. In fact, many of the traditional festivals in China are calculated according to the lunar calendar. For example, the Double Ninth Festival, the Ching Ming Festival (Tomb Sweeping Festival), the Dragon Boat Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival are all based on the lunar calendar.
When do preparations for this special day begin?
Usually one week before the Spring Festival. In the countryside, people even start preparing cured meat and fish, such as bacon and smoked fish in the west, a month before. Everyone buys the necessities and all kinds of meat, flowers, clothes and prepares the gifts for old people and children.
What role does the colour red play?
The colour red is very popular in China. On our Chinese New Year’s Day, we hang red lanterns at the entrance of the house and wear red clothes with red scarf and gloves. The colour red represents joy, hope, happiness and promise. Our country’s flag is red, so we also call the colour red China red to wish our motherland prosperity and progress, day after day.
The year 2022 is under the sign of the water tiger. What does this mean?
According to the 2022 Chinese horoscope, the Tiger is the ruling sign of the zodiac from the day of the 2022 Lunar New Year and throughout the Chinese lunar year. The water element in its Yang form is the main source of energy in the Chinese calendar in 2022.
The New Year symbolises spontaneity and novelty. It is synonymous with unforeseen changes and surprising developments. For the 12 Chinese zodiac signs, it is time to do their best to significantly improve their living conditions. It is also a good time for those who want to forget their stormy past, heal their wounds and find a legitimate place in society.
In traditional Chinese astrology, the water tiger is the least ruthless of the five possible tiger types. Yet he loses none of his strength and quick wits. This internalised fiery tiger is especially known for its purifying qualities. The ability to rid a structure or an organism of its impurities is also favoured by the positive influence of the water tiger.