Today is the last day in the year of the Horse, and the first day in the year of the SHEEP! One sixth of the world is celebrating Chinese New Year!!! Chinese new year is the most important festival in the Chinese calendar. No matter how busy people are, they will try to get a ticket to go home and spend the festival with their families. This phenomenon is also marked as the world’s largest annual migration ‘Chunyun’. Chinese New Year is based on the ancient Chinese lunar calendar, and it falls on the second new moon after winter solstice – somewhere between 21 January and 19 February, meaning it changes from year to year.
How to Greeting each other in Chinese New Year.
It is a tradition for people to greeting each other with good wishes when they see each other in the new year. Usually, people say ‘xinniankuaile’ which means Happy Chinese New Year or ‘gongxifacai’ which means may you be happy and prosperous in the new year.
Red envelopes/packets are money wrapped in red paper given to kids from their parents, grandparents and others as New Year gifts. They are called hongbao in Mandarin. Sending red packets is a well-observed custom at Chinese New Year. However, not every one give red envelop to others. Usually, only those who are not married people receive red envelops from married people. Chinese New Year is also children’s favorite festival because they receive most red envelops. Most of people give or receive hongbao after they greeting each other.
What people do?
Dinners, New Clothes, parades, dragon dances, reunions and gift exchanges are all part of Chinese New Year celebrations.
New Year’s Eve Dinner
The New Year’s Eve dinner is the most important dinner for the Chinese. Normally, this is the family reunion dinner, especially for those with family members away from home. During the dinner, normally fish will be served. Dumplings are the most important dish in Northern China. These two dishes signify prosperity. Other dishes are dependent on personal preference. The majority of Chinese will have New Year’s Eve dinner at home instead of a restaurant.
Red clothing and elements are essential for Chinese New Year, as the mythical monster at the centre of the New Year, Nian, was supposedly scared of the colour red and fireworks, which have also become a key part of New Year celebrations.
The dragon dance is often performed during Chinese New Year. Chinese dragons are a symbol of China, and they are believed to bring good luck to people, therefore the longer the dragon in the dance, the more luck it will bring to the community. The dragons are believed to possess qualities that include great power, dignity, fertility, wisdom and auspiciousness. The appearance of a dragon is both frightening and bold but it has a benevolent disposition, and so eventually became an emblem to represent imperial authority. The movements in a performance traditionally symbolize historical roles of dragons demonstrating power and dignity. The final day, Day 15, sees the Lantern Festival.
Setting off fireworks to celebrate Chinese New Year may be a centuries-old tradition, but most of Chinese still use fireworks to celebrate the new year. The new year is the time when parents buy fireworks to their children. Chinese children love setting fireworks with their friends. It is lots fun to set up different fireworks every year.
Hanyin Group wishes you all a wonderful year!!!