1. In China, it is also known as the Spring Festival, which is the literal translations of the modern Chinese name.
2. Chinese New Year celebrations are the longest in the Chinese calendar, lasting from the last day of the calendar’s last month to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month.
3. Lantern Festival celebrations feature red paper lanterns, decorative red paper inscribed with poetry, and fireworks. Red symbolizes fire, which according to legend is believed to drive away bad luck. Fireworks are a modern iteration of the bamboo stalks ancient Chinese use light on fire, believing that the crackling flames would ward off evil spirits.
4. It is traditional for Chinese families to thoroughly clean and cleanse the house, sweeping away poor fortune and to make way for incoming good luck.
5. Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked that all the animals come together and meet with him on Chinese New Year. He named a year after each of the 12 who showed up, and proclaimed that those born in each animal’s year would share certain characteristics and personality traits with the animals itself.
6. 2014 in the Chinese lunar calendar is the year of the horse (馬 Mǎ) and begins January 31.