Did you know?
Chinese New Year is celebrated by millions around the world. Here are 12 fun facts to help you join in the party.
- Chinese New Year is the longest and most important festival for Chinese all over the world. It is a major 15-day celebration and public holiday in China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.
- Each year of the Chinese New Year calendar is named after an animal. There’s a cycle of 12 animals—the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig—and after each cycle the list begins again. Which animal are you?
- Each day within the Chinese New Year period has a special meaning. The period accumulates with the lantern festival on the 15th day. Click here to explore what each day means.
- 2017 is the Year of the Rooster. People born in a rooster year are said to be observant, hardworking, resourceful, courageous and talented. Roosters are also very self-confident!
- Doors and windows are decorated with red coloured paper cut-outs made in the shapes of snowflakes. The themes of the cut-outs are happiness, good fortune, longevity and wealth.
- Children receive red envelopes containing money. The amount, which usually totals to an even number, cannot be divisible by four because in Chinese, the number 4 means death.
- On Chinese New Year everyone is a year older. It doesn’t matter when you were born—this is like a national birthday!
- The origin of the Chinese New Year is centuries old. It is based on the story of people defending themselves against a mythical beast called the Nian. Their weapons are food, firecrackers and the colour red.
- Foods offered during Chinese New Year symbolise happiness, prosperity, luck, fertility and long life. Fish, which in Mandarin sounds like ‘excess’ or ‘surplus’ features in all meals. Prosperity is also symbolised by mandarins and black moss seaweed. Chicken represents good luck and happiness, pomelos signify fertility, noodles are for long life and the name of the popular jiaozi (dumplings) sounds like Mandarin for ‘farewell to the old and welcome the new’.
- Some Chinese believe you should not wash your hair on the first day of the Chinese New Year as you will wash away your good luck for the New Year.
- Red is the predominant and auspicious colour of the Chinese New Year. It symbolises fortune, good luck and joy. In addition to the red packets or envelopes, it is the most commonly worn colour of new clothes throughout the Chinese New Year period. White or black clothing are often avoided as they represent the traditional colours of mourning for Chinese people.
- The ancient Chinese calendar was a religious, dynastic and social guide. Oracle bones inscribed with astronomical records indicate it existed as early as the 14th century BCE.
Western Australia-China sister relationships
- Western Australia has had a sister state relationship with the Zhejiang Province of China since 1987.
- WA cities have several sister city relationships with cities in China:
- the City of Perth has sister city relationships with Chengdu, in the Sichuan Province (since 2010), and Nanjing, in the Jiangsu Province (since 1998)
- Cockburn has a sister city relationship with Yueyang, Hunan Province
- Bunbury has a sister city relationship with the Chinese port city of Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province
- Greater Geraldton has a sister city relationship with Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, and Zhoushan City, Zhejiang Province
- Manjimup has a sister city relationship with Jiashan County, Zhejiang Province
- Northam has a sister city relationship with Tianmu, Tianjin Province
- Wanneroo has a sister city relationship with Guigang, Guangxi Province.
- Augusta-Margaret River has a sister city relationship with Haining, Zhejiang Province
- Kalgoolie-Boulder has a sister city relationship with Zhangzhou, Fujian Province
- Joondalup has a sister city relationship with Jinan, Shandong Province