What Are Chinese Traditions for Lunar New Year?

The Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year, is one of the most important traditional Chinese holidays. It is usually celebrated from the first day of the lunar calendar to the 15th day, which usually falls in late January or early February. The Chinese New Year is all about family reunions, cultural traditions and food. In this blog post, we will explore some of the most important Chinese traditions for Lunar New Year.

Red Decorations

Red is an important color in Chinese culture as it symbolizes good luck and happiness. During the Lunar New Year, red decorations are hung everywhere to bring good fortune to families. Red couplets, which are poetic phrases written on bright red paper, are hung on both sides of the front door, wishing good luck and prosperity for the coming year. Red lanterns are also hung up, lighting up the streets and adding to the festive atmosphere.

Reunion Dinner

The reunion dinner is the most important meal of the Lunar New Year. Families gather together to eat, talk and share their blessings. The meal usually consists of several courses, including fish, dumplings, spring rolls and other Chinese delicacies. It is believed that eating fish during the reunion dinner will bring prosperity in the new year, while eating dumplings symbolizes wealth and spring rolls represent the turning of seasons.

Spring Cleaning

Before the Lunar New Year, Chinese families traditionally clean their homes from top to bottom, which signifies sweeping away bad luck and making way for good fortune. Sweeping the floor, washing clothes, and dusting the furniture are all necessary chores to prepare for the new year. However, cleaning on the first day of the new year is avoided as it is believed to sweep away the good luck.

Giving Red Envelopes

Giving red envelopes, also known as “lai see” in Cantonese or “hongbao” in Mandarin, is a Lunar New Year tradition that involves giving money to friends and family, especially children. The money is usually placed in a red envelope, which represents good luck and fortune. It is believed to bring good luck and happiness to the receivers.

Dragon and Lion Dance

The Dragon and Lion Dance is a traditional Chinese performance that is performed during the Lunar New Year. The dance is believed to drive away evil spirits and bring good fortune. The lion dance, performed by two people, involves the lion visiting different areas to perform and ‘greet’ people, while the dragon dance, performed by many people, involves a long, undulating dragon snaking its way through the streets, accompanied by loud drums and cymbals.

In conclusion, the Lunar New Year is an important holiday that is celebrated with cultural traditions and rituals. From the red decorations to the reunion dinner, every tradition has its underlying meaning and importance. These traditions help to bring families and communities together, and offer a sense of hope and positivity for the upcoming year.

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