Monday, January 30, 2017

Lunar New Year Numbers

Happy New Year  - I am sure you haven't missed the beginning of the  Lunar Year  - 2017 , the Year of the Rooster , in fact the Fire Rooster. I have in the past written many articles about celebrating the Chinese or Lunar New Year  in this blog - Year of the Monkey, Year of the Sheep/Goat, Year of the Snake, Year of the Dragon, Year of the Tiger.
 I have often discussed lucky foods, family activities, the Do's and Don'ts of New Year celebrations and traditions. However, this year, how about some numbers? 

THE LITTLE NUMBERS 
The  official number of  public holidays for the New year Festival  although many workers have 7 days leave. 
8  is considered to be a lucky Chinese number. Besides all of the other delicious foods created for the New Year celebration, it is customary to offer friends who visit during the two week period, a 'tray of togetherness' - a  snack platter. This platter has 8 separate divisions with 8 sweet and savoury snack foods chosen especially for their symbolism .  

10  The Rooster is number 10 of the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals ... 
12  The animals are in order - Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep/Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.  People born in a specific year are said to have unique personality traits associated with the animal of the year. For example, if this is your year , "Roosters are always active, amusing, and popular within a crowd. Roosters are talkative, outspoken, frank, open, honest, and loyal individuals. They like to be the centre of attention and always appear attractive and beautiful.
Roosters are happiest when they are surrounded by others, whether at a party or just a social gathering. They enjoy the spotlight and will exhibit their charm on any occasion.
Roosters expect others to listen to them while they speak, and can become agitated if they don't. Vain and boastful, Roosters like to brag about themselves and their accomplishments."

15 The fifteenth day after the New Year  marks the first full moon of the year and is known as Lantern Day - another day of celebrating with family - lots of food including oranges and red lanterns. 
60  Fire Roosters will turn 60 this year. Here are some famous fire roosters who will have a significant birthday in 2017. -  Dawn French, Donny Osmond, Martin Luther King III, Stephen Fry, Hans Zimmer, Dolph Lundgren, and Jools Holland.
119  countries  host festivities to celebrate the Lunar New Year, as registered by the China Cultural Agency.  Interestingly both London and Sydney claim to have the largest Chinese New celebrations outside China. 

THE BIG NUMBERS ...


10 million messages were sent via WeChat ( Chinese messaging service ) in only two hours 10pm and midnight on New Year's Eve. 


814 million people watch the Chinese New Year Festival gala , a  government sponsored variety show on TV. 

3.6 billion ( 3.2 billion in 2014)   passenger trips ( approx 3 trips per Chinese citizen) are taken during the festival . This is called  chunyun , the world's largest mass holiday migration, as Chinese people pay respects by visiting their families .The breakdown of the  2-14 statistics show the numbers of trips via various means of transport. 


31 billion text messages were sent and received during last year's Lunar New Year Festival 
100 billion ( US$)  are spent on food and entertainment during the Lunar New Year Festival in China. 

And ... There are also countless millions of lucky red packets containing money  given during the festival to children, younger members of the family, and even by employers to their employees. 


 All these large numbers are too much to comprehend -  our own family celebration numbers are enough to cope with and enjoy!