- Chinese New Year’s Eve 除夕夜
- red envelopes/ red packets 紅包
- reunion dinner 團圓飯
- firecrackers 鞭炮
- dragon dance 舞龍舞獅
- lantern 燈籠
- ask the gods for a prophecy 求神問卜
- spring rolls 春捲
- steamed fish 蒸魚
- incense 香
- play mahjong 打麻將
- worship ancestors 祭祖
- spring couplet couplet 春聯
What’s Chinese New Year?
Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival, is an important traditional Chinese holiday.
Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally run from Chinese New Year’s Eve, the last day of the last month of the Chinese calendar, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month, making the festival the longest in the Chinese calendar.
The origin of Chinese New Year and Mythology.
According to tales and legends, the beginning of Chinese New Year started with a mythical beast called Nian. Nian would come on the first day of New Year to eat livestock, crops, and even villagers, especially children. To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year. It was believed that after Nian ate the food they prepared, it wouldn’t attack any more people.
One day a villager decided to take action. A god visited him and told him to put red paper on his house and to place firecrackers in front. The villagers then understood that Nian was afraid of the color red. When the New Year was about to come, the villagers would hang red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. People also used firecrackers to scare Nian away. From then on, Nian never came to the village again. Nian was eventually captured by Hongjun Laozu, an ancient Taoist monk and became his mount.
What We Do on Chinese New Year. 新年要幹嘛？
The evening preceding Chinese New Year’s Day is an occasion for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner.
It is also traditional for every family to thoroughly clean the house, in order to sweep away any ill fortune and to make way for incoming good luck.
Windows and doors will be decorated with red paper-cuts and couplets with popular themes of “good fortune”, “happiness”, “wealth”, and “longevity.”
Other activities include lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelopes.
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文/ Denise Peng