What Is The Chinese Way Of Celebrating Lunar New Year?
The New Year in China is also known as the Spring Festival. It is among the most important festival of the people of China. Some Chinese still prefer to celebrate the New Year traditionally, while others prefer modern celebrations. Here is a brief insight into the various celebrations that are most popular in China and symbolizes the various aspects of the Chinese way of life.
For Celebrating The New Year, The Chinese Start Preparing A Week In Advance
In most Chinese homes, a thorough sweeping is done. It is symbolic of the beginning of the new year. The Chinese ensure that everything is cleaned by sweeping off the dust from floors, walls, furniture, kitchen and even house hold utensils. Some even discard old or useless things. It is symbolic of removing bad luck and a way of welcoming the new year.
The next is shopping. The Chinese prefer buying new clothes, food, drinks, snacks and other special things, even if it involves going to markets and shopping malls packed with people at that time. Also, home decor items are common on the shopping list. These include lanterns of various colours, festival couplets of various colours and designs, paper cuts, posters, images and pictures depicting the Chinese New Year and Zodiac animals.
Getting Back Home Just Before The New Year
Since the Chinese New Year is very significant, especially for the people, every Chinese makes it a point to get back home no matter how far they might be. It doesn’t matter how much they might have to travel or what problems they have to face. They need to get back home during the New Year at all costs. This movement of people is usually referred to as the Spring Festival Rush. Every Chinese want to come home, re-unite with the family and attend the dinner ceremony.
Celebrations Reach Its Peak In The New Year’s Eve
On the day of the New Year, people sweep the tombs of those who are no more in the morning hours. The final decoration is done after returning home. Then, they complete pasting the Spring Festival couplets, followed by the hanging of the red lanterns. With that, decorating the house is complete.
Next is the family dinner, which is the grandest part of the Chinese New Year celebration. It is also referred to as the family re-union dinner, and it happens to be the most resplendent banquet of the whole year. A variety of delicious dishes are prepared. A few are considered lucky dishes. The main attraction is the Chinese dumplings. At around 8 in the evening, every television screen will show the New Year gala. The sound of bursting fire-crackers during midnight symbolizes the new year festival night.
First Day At Home
Usually, the custom is that the Chinese will spend the first day of the New Year at home. The meal would either be niangao or dumplings on the first day. Once breakfast is over, the kids usually put on their new dresses and greet their parents and grandparents a Happy New Year. Kids and unmarried adults are given money in red envelopes from the senior members of the family. Some even visit the temple on this day and pray for good luck for the whole year.
The Chinese New Year is not anything exclusive for close family members. In fact, it includes everyone right from relatives to friends. Those who are married visit the family members of the wife. It happens on the second day of the new year. In the days that follow, people get in touch with various relatives. CNY Gifts are exchanged, and in the case of cash gifts, the money is handed out in red envelopes. No matter what form of gift is given, the objective is to express love, care and good health. Feasts are held and in almost every house. The Chinese have a nice time with food and drinks. People socialize a lot, and there is a lot of laughter and interaction. There is singing and dancing, and many play the mahjong to enhance the entertainment level.
New Trends Related To The Celebration of Chinese New Year
Lately, the Chinese prefer to arrange re-union dinners. They usually do it at a restaurant since that is most convenient for all. At the restaurants, a variety of lip-smacking dishes are available. It has been observed that many young Chinese are not that good at cooking. For them, going out is the best option since it’s simple and convenient.
Decreasing Viewers Of The New Year Gala
Watching the Chinese New Year celebrations on television is no longer a charm for many. It is not longer so fascinating as it used to be. The audience has been decreasing over the years. The change in performance or innovation has been negligible. The young generation prefers organizing personalized events and activities. Most opt for the online platform or some other form of technology for interaction. However, the older generation still prefers to go with the traditional way of Chinese New Year celebrations.
Burning Fire Crackers
In recent years, the tradition of burning fire-crackers has gone down. There are two main reasons for this. The first one is, a fire-cracker can easily hurt, and the second reason is people are increasingly becoming aware of the environment and the factors of pollution.
Currently, it is forbidden in China to burn fire-cracker personally. It is alright if people watch the fireworks display at a few fixed public locations, but in cities like Shanghai, Beijing and Xian, any explosive or firework is strictly prohibited.
Travelling or Moving Around During The New Year
People prefer to visit a place or travel around during the Chinese New Year. It is a trend that has fast become popular in the past few years. Since the transport system in China has rapidly developed, like the numerous airways and the high-speed rail routes, travelling for the people of China is no big deal. People can plan a holiday and take a break anytime. The Chinese New Year is an excellent opportunity to travel around and relax.