Lunar New Year, the Spring Festival or most commonly known as Chinese New Year is one of the most important celebrations each year. It is a Chinese tradition that has been observed for decades. It usually starts on the first day of the first month with different kinds of customs such as family dinners, parties, dragon dance, and fireworks. It is the longest and most significant event for the Chinese because they commemorate certain myths and traditions. It reflects how the Chinese people conduct themselves and the values they believe. This article tells you how to understand some of the Chinese new year traditions.
- Spending money. Chinese New Year is where most people would pour out their money and spend on decoration, food, clothes, and gifts. In commemoration of this Chinese tradition, money is simply not an issue. It is also believed that the more you give out or the more you spend, the more you will receive.
- Sweep the house clean. One Chinese tradition is cleaning the house to brush away all the bad elements and unfortunate things. This is done to welcome the good luck or good fortune into their homes.
- Decorations. Red is the color of wealth and a color which according to old tales, scared off a beast. Chinese people decorate their homes most specifically their windows and doors with red colored paper of any kind that symbolizes happiness, prosperity, and long life.
- Family feast. On Chinese New Year’s Eve, families gather to eat. Not just any ordinary dinner, but it is a feast. Found on each Chinese family table are different delicacies of pigs, ducks, chicken and dessert assortment.
- Celebrate with a bang! At night, everyone will light up his firecrackers or fireworks to celebrate Chinese New Year. Skies will be filled with wonderful fireworks display and the streets will be noisy with different kinds of firecrackers. In the morning, children will get up and greet their moms and dads with a wish for good health and a joyful new year. In return, they get money inside red envelopes called “ampao”.
- Symbolic tradition. Celebrating Chinese New Year is an event that will never go away. This is a symbol of reconciliation, of genuinely wishing everyone peace and happiness. Aside from welcoming the New Year ahead, it is also symbolic in the sense that many Chinese traditions and myths are being recognized each year. Celebrating it brings good luck and fortune to everyone and it also reminds everyone of the Chinese behavior and conduct.
Come first day of the first month, expect to see lots of Chinese traditions prepared in each home. Most of the Chinese communities in different countries including their countries of influence join in the festivities and make noise. Prepare your red colored paper or “papel de hapon”, the “ampaos” or the red paper envelopes for the money to give to your kids, the colorful decorations to put up in your homes, the firecrackers and fireworks, and last but certainly not the least, the wide array of food to serve on the eve of Chinese New Year.