Are you ready for the New Year? Not the one celebrated for one day every year on January 1st, but the one where the celebration goes on for two weeks and the start date is determined by the moon. The festival that celebrates family, happiness, wealth, and good luck. Of course, we're talking about the Chinese New Year, one of the most important holidays in the world. CNY is filled with legends, traditions, superstitions, and folklore like so many other holidays. And considering that the Chinese New Year has been celebrated in various forms for centuries, it's no surprise it comes packed with legends, traditions, superstitions, and folklore. So how much do you know about the Chinese New Year? Take this quiz and find out. From why people hand out red envelopes to the symbolic reason loud fireworks play such a big role in the festivities, even if you've never been to China, you might be surprised at how much you know.
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One of the most endearing traditions of the Chinese New Year is to post couplets around the door of a home. These couplets describe the excitement of the festival and one's wishes for a prosperous New Year. Black or golden characters are drawn on red paper and are hung above and on the sides of a door. According to tradition, the original couplets were inscribed on boards made from peach trees. Over time people started to use paper instead of boards, and the custom became mainstream during the Ming Dynasty. Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang liked the practice so much; he ordered his citizens to do it during the Chinese New Year. Even the removal of the couplets is seeped in tradition. In the more rural parts of China, people tend to keep the couplets up all year long even if they've been damaged by the elements. In bigger cities, people often take them down after the end of the Chinese New Year. Although some people throw the old couplets away, traditionalists believe they need to be burned to bring good luck to the person who posted them.
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