The Chinese New Year is almost upon us, which means big celebrations in Chinese communities around the world. Also known as the Spring Festival, this year’s New Year falls on January 28th and it marks the year of the Rooster. In Chinese culture, the rooster is well regarded for fidelity and punctuality (because it wakes people up on time). Here are some other fun facts you may not have known about Chinese New Year:
- The Spring Festival happens when it does because of farming. China grew up as an agrarian society where most people farmed, so the year was scheduled around the farming calendar. Chinese New Year happens at a time of year when there is a lull after the harshest parts of winter and before planting can begin. It marks a rare time of year where there is little farm work that can be done, so people take the time off to celebrate and reunite with family.
- 2017 will be the year of the Rooster. People born under the Chinese zodiac of the Rooster are considered to be hardworking, talented, resourceful, and courageous. Roosters are always good people to have on your team, but don’t walk under any ladders with Roosters this year—the year of the Rooster is supposed to be a bad luck year for people born under its sign.
- Red is a very important color in Chinese culture. Red brings good luck, which is why Chinese brides wear red dresses. During the Spring Festival, elder family members give gifts of money to the children in their family in red envelopes to bring them luck and ward off evil spirits.
- Chinese New Year is the most important holiday of the year in China. Families come together the way people do for Thanksgiving in America. In fact, in 2013 it is estimated that 4 billion trips were taken during the period of the Spring Festival, which lasts until the beginning of March. Some people in China take trips out of the country during the Spring Festival, while many Chinese descendants who no longer live in the country travel to China to visit family.
Speaking of which, if you need China travel visas for any upcoming Spring Festival travel, you should act quickly. The China consulate will be closed from January 27-30, and it is likely to be inundated with requests up until that time. Remember that the team at Swift can help you expedite your China visas in as little as one business day if you get caught in a bind or simply want to avoid the long lines at your local consulate. Contact us to get started or visit our China visa application page to start the process online.
Laurie Lee is co-founder and CEO of Swift Passport and Visa Services. A Chicago native, Laurie loves adventure travel, especially to the Caribbean. She enjoys writing for the Swift Post, as well as for her personal blog, Spare Parts- www.sparebodyparts.com.