Besides being Valentine’s Day, February 14th is one very special day for the Chinese culture, since it is the Spring Festival or the New Lunar Year Festival, a celebration that lasts about three weeks. This year is the year of the tiger, symbol of power.
At this time of year it is very important for them to meet with the family. Thus, the airports, the trains, the buses and the roads are overrun by those who live far from their family. That is why this period is called “the movement of spring”. Meanwhile, others run to the temples in Taiwan to light some incense: a ritual whereby the first person who lights incense will be blessed with good luck for the whole year.
Another superstition connected with fate is not sweeping the house for the first five days of the New Year: one might sweep the good luck and the wealth out of his house. Some families hide the scissors and the knives to prevent a possible accident that could cut the “thread of good luck.” In addition, vulgar language and talking about death is also forbidden. It is also believed that if the lights are left on the whole night, the parents will have a longer life.
Why do they speak about the Lunar New Year? Because the Chinese calendar is not Gregorian: it is based on the lunar cycle. Their New Year starts with the second new moon after the 22nd December (winter solstice), and this year will end on the 28th February. On the streets the colour red and the tales of legends are omnipresent. One of these legends tells the story of a cruel and ferocious animal, whose name was Nien that ate people on New Year’s Eve. As it was afraid of red, of light, of fire and of violent sounds, they try to scare it in different ways: placing red paper in the doorways, lighting torches and throwing firecrackers.
Nowadays, the children receive red envelopes with money inside and the last day of the celebration, “the day of the lanterns and lamps”, there is a wonderful parade organized with dancing dragons and lions - animals that drive away the evil spirits.
This year, the tiger is the king. This is a charismatic and charming sign; it brings us luck in everything that has to do with novelty, curiosity and movement. Socially, it is favourable for matters related to children, environmentalism, politics, arts, sports and much more!
It is in the French capital where the Chinese immigration is the biggest in Europe, so if you want to discover the Asian culture in the old continent, travel to the French capital. Surprise your partner for the Valentine’s Day with a romantic trip. For an even more magical stay, rent apartments in Paris, they are cheap and comfortable.