Traditions Of Chinese New Year
The amount of people living in the Celestial Empire makes the culture more than various. Different parts of China have different New Year traditions, according to their area of living. However, there are a few most typical ones that are followed as in China, so in different Chinatowns through the entire world.
Chinese New Year Traditions
New Year Dinner
The evening before New Year has a great role in the Chinese family. During the New Year’s Eve, it is common for a family to unite all together around the table. Usually, the meals with fish or traditional dumplings are served for the dinner. All the other dishes are chosen according to the preferences of the family. Moreover, most Chinese are likely to celebrate New Year at home, not in the restaurant.
Quite a common experience in China is to use a lot of pyrotechnics during the New Year holidays. According to the legends, fireworks are used to scare the evil spirits. The first person who is going to launch the firework is considered to attract a lot of luck through the entire next year.
New Year does not end with the eve’s dinner. Shou Sui is translated as “dinner after the New Year’s Eve” and involves staying awake the whole night after the midnight. There is a legend, that after 12 o’clock the evil beast called “Year” goes hunting for unprotected people as well as animals. However, people found out that this evil spirit is afraid of loud sounds and bright light and, the most important, red color. That’s why it is common for people to stay awake, launch fireworks and wear red color during the New Year’s Eve.
Chinese are fond of the red color. The most common tradition, connected with the color, is “red packets.” Those are red envelopes with money that elders usually present the younger generation. It is thought that red color scares away the evil, keeps children healthy, and provides them with a long life.
New Year’s Sellouts
Being decorated with a great amount of new year decorations, the markets are opened until late time before New Year. You can easily buy thematic decorations, pyrotechnics as well as clothes.
A little tradition during the December 23rd or 24th. It is said that these days the god of food goes to heaven and tells the Lord about all the deeds that each family has made. Certain religious ceremonies are conducted to appease the god – people burn the paint of the food god and after New Year they buy new paint to display it in the dining room.
The entire house is being cleaned before the New Year’s Eve to get rid of the evil and attract the good. Previously, when people did not have much chance to take a bath, they would necessarily do it before New Year’s Eve.
Welcoming New Year used to be and remains a vital tradition in Chinese culture. People “dress” their houses in red to make them shine brightly. Lanterns are a must during each decoration, as they are the symbols of new and immaculate life.