You’ll and that some 20% of the Earth’s population celebrates this event using loads of reworks. It’s a celebration marked by good food, red envelopes, and blessings for everyone.
Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is the most important traditional Chinese festival. e date changes every year but is always within the period from January 21st to February 20th. e celebrations last 16 days.
2023 is the year of the Rabbit, speci cally, Water Rabbit. Each Chinese year is associated with an animal sign according to the Chinese zodiac cycle, and each zodiac sign also has its own element: Earth, Wood, Fire, Metal.
Chinese New Year has a history of over 3,000 years and is associated with several myths. A popular legend tells of the mythical beast Nian which shows up every Lunar New Year’s Eve to eat people and livestock. To scare away the monster, people displayed red paper, burned bamboo, lit candles, and wore red clothes. ese traditions have been continued until the present time.
New Year Traditions
The main custom and traditions are to seeing out the old year and welcoming in the luck and prosperity of a new year.
The main Chinese New Year activities include:-
• Putting up decorations
• Offering sacrifices to ancestors
• Eating reunion dinner with family on New Year’s Eve
• Giving red envelopes and other gifts
• Firecrackers and reworks, and watching lion and dragon dances.
PEOPLE give their houses a thorough cleaning before the Spring Festival, which symbolizes sweeping away the bad luck of the preceding year and making their homes ready to receive good luck. Red is the main colour for the festival, as red is believed to be an auspicious colour denoting prosperity and energy and which wards o evil spirits and negativity. Red lanterns hang in streets; red couplets and New Year pictures are pasted on doors. Many people visit ancestors’ graves on the day before the Chinese New Year’s day offering sacrifices to ancestors to show that they are letting their ancestors “eat” rest, and add an extra glass and place it at the dinner table on New Year’s Eve is is a time for families to be together. Chinese New Year’s Eve is the most important time. Wherever they are, people are expected to be home to celebrate the festival with their families and enjoy the food and time together.
New Year is a season of red envelopes or red packets. Red envelopes have money in, and are often given to children and seniors.
The red envelope is called ya sui qian . Other popular gifts are alcohol, tea, fruits, and candies.
Setting off firecrackers and reworks is an indispensable festive activity as well as watching the Lion and Dragon dances. It is a way to scare away the evil and welcome the New Year’s arrival.
Lucky food is served during the 16-day festival season, especially on the New Year’s Eve family reunion dinner.
• Fish is a must as it sounds like ‘surplus’ in Chinese and symbolizes abundance.
• Dumplings shaped like Chinese silver ingots are shared as a sign of the family unit and prosperity.
• Niángāo (glutinous rice cake) is welcome because it symbolizes a higher income or position as it sounds like ‘year high’.
THINGS YOU MUSTN’T DO
Chinese people believe that the year’s start a ects the whole year, so China’s Spring Festival is a season of superstitions.
• Don’t sweep up on New Year’s Day, otherwise you’ll ‘sweep all your luck away’.
• Don’t eat porridge for breakfast, otherwise you’ll ‘become poor in the upcoming year’.
• Don’t wash your clothes and hair on New Year’s Day, otherwise you’ll ‘wash fortune away’.