Chinese New Year celebrations amid Covid-19 pandemic

Chinese New Year celebrations amid Covid-19 pandemic

On Thursday, the Chinese New Year and spring festival kicked off. As per the Chinese Zodiac, this celebration bids a farewell to the year of the Rat.

Chinese New Year or the Lunar New Year falls on February 12 in 2021, marking the Year of the Ox. The Lunar year marks the first new moon of the lunisolar calendars. As the name suggests, the calendar is driven by the cycles of moon and the sun. This calendar is followed by Asian countries like China, South Korea and Vietnam.

Worshippers wearing face masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus burn joss sticks as they pray at the Wong Tai Sin Temple.(AP)

The time it takes earth to orbit the sun is called a solar year. This solar year lasts for around 365 days. On the other hand 12 full cycles of the moon is known as lunar year, which roughly lasts around 354 days.

The Lunar New Year in China brings with itself 15 days of festivities. It starts on New Year ’s Eve with a reunion family feast of traditional food and culminates with a lantern festival.

There are several traditions followed by the Chinese people. Some traditions include famous dragon and lion dance, Chinese letters hung in a diamond-shaped red paper to signify the arrival of good luck, gifting money wrapped in red envelopes and fireworks.

A Hong Kong based feng shui master said, “The ox, in Chinese culture, is a hardworking zodiac sign. It usually signifies movements so, hopefully, the world will be less static than last year and get moving again in the second half of the year.” (CNN)  

Wearing a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Anna Lee, 9, stands next to lion dancers.(AP)

According to the Nian Mythology, legends say that a lion like monster rose from the sea with the hunger for the human flesh on the New year. Hence a colourful flying lion dance takes place on the tunes of drums and cymbals, enacting the mythology.

This year the Chinese New year is being celebrated under the threat of the deadly coronavirus. That is why the festivities were celebrated with strict use of masks to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. The worshippers visited temples to pray to their deities for their wealth and health.

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