New Year

Date: January 1st

The concept of "Nian" (meaning "year" in Chinese) originally derived from agriculture production. In ancient times, people called the growth cycle of grain "Nian" (a year), which means, when grains get ripe one time, it is one year. In Xia Dynasty (2070-1600 BC) and Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BC), Chinese people created Xia Calendar, by which people regarded the cycle of moon being full or not as a month and divide one year into 12 months. The usage of the concept "Nian" started from Zhou Dynasty. Chinese people usually call the first day of a year "Yuan Dan." "Yuan" means "beginning," and "Dan" refers to the time of dawn, also refers to daytime. The combination of "Yuan" and "Dan" means the very beginning time, namely the first day of one year.
Originally, the first day of Zheng Yue (the first lunar month) was called "Yuan Dan" in china, but it was not unified what day should be the first day of Zheng Yue. And the dates of Chinese New Year's Day are not the same either in various dynasties on the first day of the eleventh lunar month in Zhou Dynasty. After Qin Shihuang (the first emperor in China, 259-210BC) unified the six states, Qin Dynasty took the first day of the tenth lunar month as "Yuan Dan," and this stipulation had been followed by the later dynasties since then. In 104 BC, Han Wudi (an emperor of Han Dynasty, 156-87 BC) accepted the advice of Sima Qian (c.145 ro 135 BC-?) and some other people, and started to use Taichu Calendar, which is Chinese lunar calendar even used taday. Like the calendar of Xia Dynasty, Taichu Calendar also took Zheng Yue as the beginning of one year, and adopted the 24 solar terms into it. Although all later dynasties made some change on it, they basically followed the calendar's blueprint and took the first day of Zheng Yue as "Yuan Dan."
After Xinhai Revolution in 1911, the government of Qing Dynasty was overthrown, the feudal rule of China was finally over, and Mr. Sun Zhongshan (or Sun Yat-sen, 1866-1949) in Nanjing, The representatives of all provincial governors gathered together in Nanjing to discuss the problem of calendar. In order to be convenient for agriculture production and for statistics, the government stipulated that the lunar calendar will be used in common people's life, and the Gregorian calendar will be used in government, factories, schools, and social organizations. On September 27, 1949, the first session of Chinese People's Political Consultation Conference (CPPCC) passed a resolution, which formally stipulated January 1st of the lunar calendar as "Chun Jie" (namely Spring Festival, also called the New Year's Day of lunar calendar).
Chinese people attach more importance to the New Year;s Day of lunar calendar than to that of the Gregorian Calendar. Therefore, the celebrations for the New Year's Day are not so warm and big0scaled as those of Chun Jie. However, around the New Year's Day, people also have some big celebrations, such as orchestral concert and parties. Greeting cards are also presented to each other among friends, relatives and some organizations to express their good wishes.