Chinese New Year

Similar to Christmas in the West, Chinese New Year (or Spring Festival) is the most important and anticipated festival in this country, which is loved by both young and old, as well as the noisiest and most joyful festival of the year. It lasts 15 days, with preparations beginning long in advance. Chinese New Year follows the lunar calendar, so it falls on a different day each year (but usually in January or February. In 2024, it will start on February 10th). The festival is full of traditions, many of which date back to prehistoric times. It is time for family and friends. During this time, no matter where they live, each family member heads back to their hometown to celebrate with their family.

Pre-festival Activities 

Traditionally, the Chinese New Year begins ten days before New Year's Day. People will prepare New Year's greetings in the form of cards and letters, and send them to friends and family living far away. Then, the entire family would get together to clean their homes clean and fresh from top to bottom, which is usually seen as sweeping away bad luck, so that they could start the new year in good health and happiness. Seven days before the New Year, people often offer sacrifices to the Kitchen God by cleaning the kitchen, changing a new print of the Kitchen God, and preparing food.

On the last day before the new year, it is time for decorating. Chinese couplets for good luck are pasted on either side of the doors and the Chinese character Fu is placed throughout the house. Another popular tradition is pasting colorful New Year's prints. It is an ancient art form featuring beautiful colors and auspicious designs that has recently made a comeback and can be seen all over China.

The next tradition is the Chinese paper cuttings, which are placed in the windows, as well as flowers with auspicious meanings are displayed in the house.

New Year DecorationChinese New Year

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve is the last evening of the old year. Most people will arrive in their hometown on this day. As the sun goes down, the whole family sits together around the table, talking and laughing, sharing their happiness, tasting the delicious reunion dinner, which most symbolizes good luck and fortune for the upcoming year, and enjoying the last few hours of this year. At the stroke of midnight, families used to light fireworks and set off crackers, but unfortunately, most are banned in urban areas these days.

New Year Activities

On the first morning of the Lunar New Year, people cook many dishes taken to pay homage to each family's ancestors. It is an important part of each Chinese New Year, reminding each family member of where they came from. Then everyone puts on new clothes to greet friends and relatives they have celebrated with the night before. Children can receive Hongbao (Red Packet), which contains gift money in the hope that they will be wealthy in the future. Traditionally, the first day of the Spring Festival is spent with the husband's family, and on the second day, members will go out together to visit the family of the wife. More Hongbao is given to the child, and more delicacies are shared during the visit. After visiting the in-laws, the next stop is friends. Thanks to the long holidays, it is a great time to see family and friends who perhaps live far away and are rarely seen. The final day of the Chinese New Year is the Lantern Festival, usually with fairs and crows to celebrate the last time of the holiday. You can see people gathering in the parks or downtown areas, decorated with lights and games, vendors selling lanterns and sweet dumplings, visitors displaying lanterns, and guessing the riddles inside the lanterns. Chinese New Year is a much-anticipated festival for everyone in China. It is a time of family, celebration, and of fun. Children, through the elderly, take part in the festival and revel in the part they get to play. It is a wonderful time of the year, filled with ancient traditions that are an integral part of the festival. If crowdedness isn't a problem for you, consider a Chinese New Year tour, which can offer you some unique cultural experiences. Apart from the above customs, various official and cultural activities are held to celebrate Chinese New Year, such as temple fairs, lion dances, Yangkos, etc.

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