Views:0 Author:Site Editor Publish Time: 2017-02-17 Origin:Site
The origin of the Chinese New Year is itself centuries old - in fact, too old to actually be traced. It is popularly recognized as the Spring Festival and celebrations last 15 days.
Preparations tend to begin a month from the date of the Chinese New Year
(similar to a Western Christmas), when people start buying presents,
decoration materials, food and clothing.
A huge clean-up gets underway days before the New Year, when Chinese
houses are cleaned from top to bottom, to sweep away any traces of bad luck,
and doors and windowpanes are given a new coat of paint, usually red. The
doors and windows are then decorated with paper cuts and couplets with
themes such as happiness, wealth and longevity printed on them.
The eve of the New Year is perhaps the most exciting part of the event, as
anticipation creeps in. Here, traditions and rituals are very carefully observed
in everything from food to clothing.
Dinner is usually a feast of seafood and dumplings, signifying different good
wishes. Delicacies include prawns, for liveliness and happiness, dried oysters
(or ho xi), for all things good, raw fish salad or yu sheng to bring good luck and
prosperity, Fai-hai (Angel Hair), an edible hair-like seaweed to bring prosperity,
and dumplings boiled in water (Jiaozi) signifying a long-lost good wish for a
It's usual to wear something red as this color is meant to ward off evil spirits -
but black and white are out, as these are associated with mourning. After
dinner, the family sit up for the night playing cards, board games or watching
TV programmers dedicated to the occasion. At midnight, the sky is lit up by
On the day itself, an ancient custom called Hong Bao, meaning Red Packet,
takes place. This involves married couples giving children and unmarried
adults money in red envelopes. Then the family begins to say greetings from
door to door, first to their relatives and then their neighbors. Like the Western
saying "let bygones be bygones," at Chinese New Year, grudges are very easily
The end of the New Year is marked by the Festival of Lanterns, which is a
celebration with singing, dancing and lantern shows.
Although celebrations of the Chinese New Year vary, the underlying message
is one of peace and happiness for family members and friends.