Sunday, February 10, 2013

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year 2013 will be celebrated from Sunday, 10 February 2013 until Sunday, 24 February 2013. This is the year of the snake on the Chinese calendar.

Chinese New Year Traditions

Many traditions are performed by Chinese people and Chinese descendants before and during Chinese New Year. Here are some Chinese New Year traditions carried out by Chinese people in several Asian countries.

Cleaning the House
Before the first day of the first lunar month comes, people usually clean their house thoroughly. It is believed that cleaning the house will sweep away the bad luck from the past. Yet, the house cleaning should not be done on the first day of Chinese New Year. Otherwise, all the good luck will be swept away together with the dirt.
Decorating the House
After being cleaned, the house is garnished with decorations made from red paper banners displaying wise and fortune words. Red becomes the main color of decorations since the color is considered lucky as the symbol of life and happiness. There is a legend regarding red being the major color during Chinese New Year celebrations.

The legend tells a story about the mythical beast Nian which ate the livestock and children on the first day of lunar new year. After seeing Nian fled away from a child wearing red clothes, people found out that Nian was afraid of red color. Thus, people put many red decorations in front of the doors during Chinese New Year to keep Nian away from their house.

Giving Red Envelopes to Children
On the first day of Chinese New Year, children greet their parents and the older people a happy new year while wish for their happiness, wealth, and health. To reply the children’s sincere wishes and greetings, the adults give them pocket money. The money is usually placed inside red envelopes displaying cute pictures or new year greetings.

Eating New Year’s Dishes
It is common for Chinese families to gather and have a feast on the eve of Chinese New Year. In this moment, pork, chicken, duck, seafood, and Chinese New Year’s cake known as niangao are served. Niangao is a Chinese cuisine in the form of round cake made from glutinous rice. Consuming niangao during the celebration of Chinese New Year is considered lucky. This is the tradition I like to participate in for Chinese New Year...I love to go to my favorite Chinese Restaurant....New Young China and eat their awesome food...see photo of spring rolls and my plate below:

Visiting Temples
Many Chinese people visit the temples on New Year’s day. They pray for their good luck, health, and wealth in the upcoming years. Prayers, offering foods, and incense are also addressed to the deceased family members in the hope that they may bring luck to the family.

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