Chinese New Year, also known as the Chinese Spring Festival, is the most awaited festival of Chinese people. Just like Christmas, it is happily welcomed by people of all ages. Because it is the longest festival in the Chinese calendar, many activities and events are held during this occasion.
The date of Chinese New Year depends on the Chinese lunar calendar. With this, you cannot expect to celebrate it on February 4 the following year. But if you happen to be in China on this occasion, prepare yourself to experience the happiest day of the Chinese people.
Here’s what to expect on Chinese New Year.
1. Family reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve
Before the new year sets in, Chinese people are gathered upon their houses. No matter what their professions or locations, it is mandatory to attend a family gathering during New Year’s eve. Together, they would eat and enjoy sumptuous dishes while catching up with each other.
2. Pay respects to the ancestors
Part of every Chinese festival is to pay respects to their ancestors. It is a custom to take ancestral worship as it serves as their gratitude to the efforts of the previous generations. They do this by going into their ancestors’ graves to offer food or something they like when they were living. They would also clean the graves before lighting an incense.
Hongbao or red envelopes are typically given to children during Chinese New Year. Usually, it contains auspicious numbers, such as 6,8,9, or a double-digit amount to attract fortune. Adults are also receiving Hongbao from their elder family members.
4. Clean the house before New Year
The annual house cleaning is one of the most enjoyable activities for Chinese households. They make sure that all furniture and parts of their homes are clean as they welcome another year. It is believed that a clean house will bring good health throughout the year.
5. Setting off firecrackers
In ancient times, firecrackers are used for military and war purposes. But did you know that there’s an old folktale where firecrackers were used to scare a monster named Nian? From that time, the Chinese believed that its loud sounds could get rid of evil spirits.