The entrance of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China along the Ljubljanica river has been adorned with two beautiful red lanterns for several days now. A sign that a big celebration was approaching. Chinese New Year begun on Friday!
For the 1.4 billion people of China and for the Chinese living around the world, this is the most important holiday of the year. Also for about a thousand Chinese people living in Slovenia.
In China, they usually use the same calendar as us, but the New Year is determined by the lunar calendar. Therefore, it can be any day between January 21st and February 20th.
Every year has its own animal sign. On Friday we entered the year of the ox, before we were in the year of the rat.
Celebration of the New Year is also a spring holiday. It lasts for two weeks and ends with the Lantern Festival.
The Chinese take a lot of time to celebrate in with their families. Employees get at least seven days off, and students get a month off. Poorer Chinese, who work far from home visit their children, spouses and family members just for each New Year.
They celebrate for several days, visit their relatives, go to the temple, admire street processions and fireworks, and make a terrifying noise with firecrackers.
Many families, however, watch the popular New Year’s TV show for the New Year. It features the best Chinese singers, dancers and acrobats.
Before the New Year holidays, people are gripped by a severe travel fever. At least 400 million of them set off during the month.
But this year, buses, trains and planes are not overcrowded. The authorities want to prevent a new outbreak of covid-19. That is why they have introduced various measures, reports the BBC correspondent from Shanghai. For example, those who want to travel must be tested when leaving home, arriving at their destination, and again when going home at both the points of departure and return.
The original version of this article was published on February 11th.