People following the Chinese lunar Calendar eagerly wait for the Chinese New Year, as it is one of the most significant of all traditional Chinese festivals and holidays.
The Chinese Lunar New Year falls sometime from late January to early February. Preparations start several days in advance and a wide range of activities are planned during this time. The Chinese New Year celebration does not just last for one day but the festive spirit spans over for about 15 days.
It is celebrated with much pomp and glory all across the country. People pay homage to various interesting Chinese traditions during the New Year. Here is a list of the few things that people do to herald the New Year
Visit the Temple
Most people visit the temples on the Chinese New Year to pray for good fortune, success and prosperity all through the year. People burn incense sticks before the almighty and also get their fortunes told with help from fortuneteller.
Cleaning home to usher in the New Year
It’s an age-old tradition of people that cleaning the house before the arrival of the New Year will help them get rid of the evil forces and sweep away bad luck that has got accumulated over the past year. Chinese New year is considered a time when good luck comes knocking on the door and hence keeping a clean house will invite positive vibes and do away with all the negative forces. After cleaning their homes, citizens hide away their brooms and dustpans in distant corners so that good luck does not get wiped out from the house. Cleaning the house on the Chinese New year and as long as the celebration period lasts is not considered good as the popular belief goes that it sweeps away the good wishes received on the significant festival day. Hence, people are relieved of their cleaning tasks for a span of 15 days.
Decorate your Home
Apart from cleaning, people also engage in adorning their homes with bright colors to invite good luck and positive vibes. Red being considered as the color that brings luck, most Chinese homes during the New Year celebration is found to be spruced up in bright red tones. People buy colorful and sparkling stuff to lighten up their homes and to infuse a more vibrant spirit in their houses.
Attracting fresh energy with flowers and candies
Most people put up beautiful, fresh flowers in their homes on the Chinese New Year as part of their belief that flowers would instill positive energy into their lives. Lotus and Mandarins are largely preferred flowers for decorating the houses as they symbolize happiness, new growth and new start. Often people are also superstitious even about the number of flowers they place in their house. Even numbers are thought to be good whereas uneven number of flowers is supposed to bring in bad luck. A tray full of candies made from coconut, candied melon, lotus seeds, peanuts, red melon seed and so on is also kept in the house.
Chinese New Year Celebration
Make offerings to the Kitchen God.
The kitchen in a household is considered as a sacred corner and hence having the blessings of Kitchen God is considered important before embarking on a new year. Food offerings such as fruits and sweets are offered to the deity to please him from casting away any bad spell of luck. It is believed that if the Kitchen God is pleased then he goes back to the heaven and gives a good report.
Dig into traditional savories on Chinese New Year's Eve.
No Chinese New Year celebration can ever be complete without having a traditional dinner on the eve of the big day. Food as prepared and consumed during this time of the year also carries traditional meaning pertaining to the start of a fresh new year. Meat is avoided by most people during the first day of the year as each New Year is dedicated to an animal and hence flesh of any animal is considered to bring bad luck. People mostly cook traditional recipes such as rice cake, fish, jai, chicken, noodles, desserts, dumplings and rice. The Chinese radish is also eaten as it is symbolic of longevity, rice carry the meaning of harmony and red chilies are supposed to bring good luck.
Dressing up and visiting friends and family
An important part of the celebration is to get dressed in traditional Chinese clothing. People come out in bright colors of clothes to reflect happiness, joy and attract good wealth. Black is particularly avoided as it is believed to be a sign of death. Celebrators come out on the streets, visit their relatives and connect with their old as well as new friends.
|More on Chinese New Year|