Chinese New Year Traditions: Celebrating the New Lunar Year
Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, is the most important traditional holiday in China. It’s the time for families to gather, feast, and celebrate the arrival of the new lunar year. The festival lasts for 15 days, starting from the first day of the lunar calendar and ending with the Lantern Festival. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the traditions associated with Chinese New Year.
The Red Envelope
One of the most well-known Chinese New Year traditions is the exchange of red envelopes or hongbao. These red envelopes contain money and are given to children by parents and elders. It symbolizes good luck and wealth for the new year. In return, the children usually give a thank you message to the givers.
Before the arrival of Chinese New Year, families take part in a massive cleaning of their homes, a tradition known as “spring cleaning”. This cleaning is not only meant to tidy up the house, but it also symbolizes the removal of bad luck and making room for good fortune to come in with the New Year.
Decorations of every kind are put up. It includes red paper cutouts meant to symbolize good fortune and luck that are hung on doors and windows. Couplets with good wishes are pasted on doors for good luck.
The reunion dinner is considered the most important part of Chinese New Year celebrations. With family members returning from different parts of the world, it’s the time to enjoy a big feast and catch up with loved ones. The dinner is usually held on New Year’s Eve, and dishes like fish and dumplings are a must-have for the dinner table.
Fireworks and Firecrackers
Fireworks and firecrackers are a popular tradition that dates back centuries. Fireworks are seen as a way to keep away evil spirits, while firecrackers are meant to be loud and noisy to drive away bad luck. You can hear and see them everywhere during the Chinese New Year celebrations.
The Lantern Festival
The 15th day of the lunar year marks the end of the Chinese New Year celebration with the Lantern Festival, also known as Yuanxiao Festival. People light up decorated lanterns and eat sweet glutinous rice dumplings known as Yuanxiao. It’s a time to celebrate the first full moon of the lunar year, while saying goodbye to the old and welcoming the new.
In conclusion, Chinese New Year is a time to celebrate with family and friends, and the traditions associated with it have been passed down from generation to generation. Each tradition has its own meaning and significance, with the aim of bringing good luck and prosperity for the new year.
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