There’s no doubting that the stories at the core of Chinese New Year have had an enormous effect on the civilisation. The 12-year cycle zodiac is a more than 4,700-year-old method of marking time, and while some of the stories are meant for children others show a sense of creative wordplay and compassion for others so as to give important life lessons. This year the coming 7-day Spring Festival public holiday will be February 15–21 so we gathered 7 traditions that play an important role in Chinese New Year celebration. Keep reading to find out more…
- New Year’s Eve Dinner
The New Year’s Eve dinner is the most important dinner for the Chinese. Normally, this is the family reunion dinner, especially for those with family members away from home. During the dinner, normally fish and dumplings will be served, because these two dishes signify prosperity. Other dishes are dependent on personal preference.
Fireworks are used to drive away the evil in China. Right after 12:00PM on New Year’s Eve, fireworks will be launched to celebrate the coming of the New Year as well as to drive away the evil. It is believed that the person who launched the first firework of the New Year will obtain good luck.
- Shou Sui
Shou Sui means “after the New Year’s Eve dinner” as family members will normally stay awake during the night. According to tales and legends, there was a mythical beast named the “Year”. At the night of New Year’s Eve, the “Year” will come out to harm people, animals, and proprieties. Later, people found that the “Year” is afraid of the color red, fire, and loud sounds. Therefore, at the New Year’s Eve night, people will launch fireworks, light fires, and stay awake the whole night to fend off the “Year”.
- Red Packets
The Red packet is a red envelope with money in it, which ranges from one to a few thousand Chinese Yuan. Usually the red racket is given by adults, especially married couples, and elderly to young children in the New Year days. It was believed that the money in the red packet will suppress the evil from the children, keep them healthy, and give them a long life.
- New Years Markets
In the course of the New Year’s days, a temporary market will be setup to mainly selling New Year goods, such as clothing, fireworks, decorations, food, and small arts. The market is usually decorated with a large amount of lanterns.
A few days before the Chinese New Year, people will do a complete cleaning of the house and house wares which signifies to remove the old and welcome the new. Historically, when bathing did not occur often, people would normally take one to welcome the New Year.
After the cleaning, people will decorate the house to welcome the New Year. Most of the decorations are red in color. The most popular New Year decorations are upside down fu, dui lian, lanterns, year paint, papercutting, door gods, etc.
Post contains information from: [http://www.chinesenewyears.info/chinese-new-year-traditions.php]