Chinese New Year is a Chinese festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar. Unlike the new year that is celebrated on January 1st like most people, the ‘spring festival' as they call it in modern China, is celebrated on the 5th of february this year instead. There is no set date for this because the festival days are according to the lunar calendar and stretches from the new moon to the full one which usually spans over 15 or 16 days. Although february is still very much winter, this festival is to mark the end of the cold days and celebrate the welcoming of Spring and what it brings: harvesting crops, new beginnings, fresh starts.

This celebration was originally meant for a day of praying to the gods, asking for a good harvest season. As an agrarian society this harvest meant everything to them and pretty much all they did revolved around it. On this day, they would also pray to their ancestors as they also saw them as gods.

According to a myth, there was a great monster who came about every new years eve, but one boy was brave enough to fight this beast by using firecrackers to scare it away. The next day people celebrated their survival by setting off even more firecrackers. To this day, on Chinese New year the most fireworks in the world are set off in that one night and still to ward off bad luck and welcome instead the good luck and the new year.

So if you plan on travelling to China or Korea for or even just around the time of their spring festival, you might want to invest in some earplugs.