If you want to know something about one of the most important and extraordinary holidays in China, you are in the right place at the right time. And drumroll, we are talking about the Chinese New Year. Let’s enjoy a dip in this beautiful culture to discover the most important aspect of this ancestral Chinese tradition.
What is the Chinese New Year?
The Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival, is the most important celebration in China. Celebrations usually last for 16 days. This is the moment of the year in which families get together for the “big dinner”, make offerings to divinities, do the Spring cleaning, so that the New Year will bring happiness and good luck (Chinese character 福 means “luck”). This festival is also celebrated in other Asian countries and Chinatowns of the world, such as Milan, New York, and London among the many.
When is the Chinese New Year?
The New Year’s Day in China is the first day of the lunar calendar and this year, it will be celebrated on Friday 12th of February 2021. It’s imperative to say that, according to the Chinese calendar, every year is associated with an animal of the Chinese zodiac, following a 12 years cycle. So, 2021 is the year of the Ox!
How do Chinese people celebrate the New Year? What are their traditions?
Traditionally, with the Lunar New Year, Chinese people celebrated the beginning of a new year of agricultural work and they used to express the desire for a good harvest, making offerings to divinities. But today it’s customary to celebrate the new year to have a good year full of profit and to be successful at work. In some cities and rural areas, where these traditions have deep roots, folklore events, such as shows and traditional dancing, are setting up. What is the most important color used to adorn streets and buildings? Obviously, red. For China, red is the color of good luck. Red lanterns, auspicious decorations hanged up on doors, good luck statements written on red paper are the most important decorations. They are being hanged up during New Year’s Eve night.
The “big dinner”
The “big dinner” is the most significant meal of the year, where all the families are gathered, sitting around the table till after midnight to celebrate and welcome the new year. During dinner, Chinese people eat some dishes considered to bring good luck, such as fish and dumplings. The first one is a meal that needs to be always present on every table because it represents wealth. The second one, dumplings, is an unmissable meal. They are prepared the same evening for the next day.
红包(hongbao) means “red envelope” and the New Year’s Eve Gala on the CCTV channel
In China, people exchange gifts during the last day of the year. The red envelopes containing money are gifted to the youngers and the seniors. They are like a hope of good luck and prosperity for those who receive them. Among the new customs during New Year’s Eve, watching the “Gran Gala” is the most popular. The show begins at eight o’clock pm and lasts until midnight when the New Year has begun. Have you ever heard about Chinese New Year? What is the Chinese tradition you like the most?