Chinese New Year, also called the Spring Festival, is considered as one of the most significant traditional holidays in China. In 2017, which is the year of the Red Rooster, the Chinese start celebrating the New Year on the 28th of January and continue till the 2nd of February.
Origin and Traditions
Despite the myriads of mysterious legends that explain the origin of the Chinese New Year, there are two fundamental reasons for the festival. Firstly, people celebrate the New Year to recharge their batteries and spend precious time with the family. Secondly, they hope for a prosperous and fortunate upcoming year. The Chinese are inclined to believe that a flying start contributes to a lucky year.
The key traditional celebrations of the New Year encompass reunion dinner with the nearest and dearest, presenting red envelopes, usually with some money inside, setting off fireworks, new gear, and decorations. Watching the CCTV Gala, greeting text messages, and cyber-money presents belong to the modern celebrations.
Chinese New Year is a perfect time to unite with the family. For this reason, a reunion dinner is regarded as the most important meal of the year when a large family gathers at the one table to enjoy the dinner and hours spent together. The traditional obligatory dish is fish, which is believed to attract luck and money in the upcoming year.
The Chinese traditionally decorate houses and buildings with red, which is a central color of the holiday. All the streets and official establishments are bursting with the bright red lanterns and red New Year pictures, symbolizing prosperity.
Concerning the most widespread traditional celebrations held on New Year, the Chinese set off the fireworks, worship the ancestors, and attend performances of the lion or dragon dances. For instance, the firecracker displays symbolize farewell to the Old Year and a rousing welcome to the New Year. Traditionally, before setting off three big firecrackers, the smaller fireworks are set off. The thing is, the louder the first firecrackers, the more prosperous the forthcoming year will be.
Things to Avoid
The Chinese is a superstitious nation, which is inclined to believe that the start of the year can have either beneficial or detrimental influence on the whole year. For this reason, there are specific taboos, applied a month before the New Year and held till the Lantern Festival (the 15th day of the Spring Festival).
- During the first three days, some Chinese do not wash their hair not to sweep good luck off.
- A cry of a child is regarded as a sign of bad luck for the whole family. For this reason, the parents meticulously appease their children.
- The Chinese usually avoid taking out loans.
However, if a person is willing to prevent oneself from misfortune, it is a must to wear red underwear, sold at the street markets and supermarkets.
Finally, the Chinese New Year fully represents the traditional peculiarities of their culture!