The Chinese New Year is the most important celebration of the year; it takes a lot of planning, and the Chinese people prepare for it all year long. The celebration will last for 15 days. During this time, most businesses will close down and the transportation systems will become flooded with people trying to make it home for this very special celebration.
The New Year is a time when Chinese people reunite with one another and send wishes of good health and great prosperity. They will also perform old traditions and rituals. Food is the main attraction at the Chinese New Year; if you plan to attend any Chinese New Year celebrations, I suggest you prepare some of the classic dishes or organize a tea-tasting party.
For the tea party, buy different kinds of quality tea to serve to your guests. Prepare a table that is decorated nicely and pass the dry tea leaves around while waiting for the tea to brew. After the tea has brewed, pass the wet leaves around. Discuss the differences in taste and smell. To symbol togetherness, you can prepare a whole fish. A noodle dish is also a good choice; along with being easy to prepare, it will symbolize long life and good health. Other symbolic dishes include sticky rice cakes, turnip cakes, and black seaweed with oysters.
While food plays an important role in the festivals, so do decorations. Placing red decorations on your doors and windows will rid your home of evil spirits. Fireworks were used for this purpose also, but have been largely banned due to safety concerns and replaced with soundtracks and hanging decorations made to look like fireworks. Before the celebration, people will clean their homes from top to bottom and hang pictures of the god of wealth to welcome peace and bring riches. New clothes are purchased for the family and gifts are bought for friends; almost everything will be red, as in China red is considered lucky.
The Chinese custom also recommend sthat you put away all brooms and brushes, pay off all your debts, resolve any disputes with friends or acquaintances, and buy lots of oranges and flowers. On New Year's Eve at midnight, open every door and window to let go of the old year and welcome the new year. Some of the things you should not do include the following: don't drop your chopsticks, don't welcome people who are mourning, don't wash your hair, don't sweep the floor, and don't say the number four as it is the Chinese homonym for death. If you follow this advice, you are guaranteed to have a wonderful Chinese New Year!