Toby Icon: Official Chinese New Year Picture
Essential facts of Chinese New Year are below.
Traditionally, the festivities surrounding Chinese New Year was known as the Nian festival (traditional Chinese: 年節; simplified Chinese: 年节; pinyin: Nián Jié), which may be understood to as "festival of the year", or "new year festival".
An alternative name for Chinese New Year is "New Year in the Agricultural Calendar" (traditional Chinese: 農曆新年; simplified Chinese: 农历新年; pinyin: Nónglì Xīnnían), the "Agricultural Calendar" being one of the more common Chinese language names for the Chinese calendar in China.
Also called Lunar New Year, Spring Festival.
New Year's Day itself was traditionally called Yuandan (Chinese: 元旦; pinyin: Yuándàn), literally "the first sunrise", but in 1913 the recently established Republic of China government appropriated that name to refer instead to New Year's Day in the newly adopted Gregorian Calendar, with Chinese New Year instead being called "Spring Festival" (traditional Chinese: 春節; simplified Chinese: 春节; pinyin: Chūnjié), which remains the official name for the New Year's Day public holiday in both mainland China and Taiwan. Prior to 1913, "Spring Festival" instead referred to lichun, (February 4 or 5), the first solar term in a Chinese calendar year, which marked the end of winter and start of spring.
Significance: The first day of the Chinese calendar (lunisolar calendar)
Friday, January 31
馬 Mǎ Horse 午 Wǔ | 12 February 2002 | 31 January 2014 | 17 February 2026
The most common auspicious greetings and sayings consist of four characters, such as the following:
- 金玉滿堂 Jīnyùmǎntáng - "May your wealth [gold and jade] come to fill a hall"
- 大展鴻圖 Dàzhǎnhóngtú - "May you realize your ambitions"
- 迎春接福 Yíngchúnjiēfú - "Greet the New Year and encounter happiness"
- 萬事如意 Wànshìrúyì - "May all your wishes be fulfilled"
- 吉慶有餘 Jíqìngyǒuyú - "May your happiness be without limit"
- 竹報平安 Zhúbàopíng'ān - "May you hear [in a letter] that all is well"
- 一本萬利 Yīběnwànlì - "May a small investment bring ten-thousandfold profits"
- 福壽雙全 Fúshòushuāngquán - "May your happiness and longevity be complete"
- 招財進寶 Zhāocáijìnbǎo - "When wealth is acquired, precious objects follow"
According to tales and legends, the beginning of Chinese New Year started with the fight against a mythical beast called the Nian (Chinese: 年; pinyin: Nián). Nian would come on the first day of New Year to eat livestock, crops, and even villagers, especially children. To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year. It was believed that after the Nian ate the food they prepared, it wouldn’t attack any more people. One day people saw that the Nian was scared away by a little child wearing red. The villagers then understood that the Nian was afraid of the color red. Time when the New Year was about to come, the villagers would hang red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. People also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nian. From then on, Nian never came to the village again. The Nian was eventually captured by Hongjun Laozu, an ancient Taoist monk. The Nian became Hongjun Laozu's mount.
50x50 Royal Purple:
II (Brown Wallpaper with purple background):
V (New Purple Wallpaper with Blue background):
Bamboo Chinese New Year:
Officiial Chinese New Year:
Toby the British, olive green wallpaper: