How China celebrate Chinese New Year?
Pre-Chinese New Year Preparations (February 8–14, 2018)
Some Chinese start to celebrate and prepare for New Year as early as month 12 day 8 of the lunar calendar. This is a festival called Laba ( 腊八 Làbā /laa-baa/ '12th lunar month' + '8'). It's January 24 in 2018.
Cleaning the House
From the 23rd of the 12th lunar month (February 8, 2018), Chinese people carry out a thorough cleaning of their houses. The cleaning is called "sweeping the dust", and represents a wish to put away old things, bid farewell to the old year, and welcome the New Year.
New Year's Eve Activities (February 15, 2018)
Putting Up New Year Decorations
Although some people decorate their houses several days before the festival, most people do it on New Year's Eve. Houses are decorated with red lanterns, red couplets, New Year paintings, and red lanterns. 2018 is a year of the Dog, so dog images will appear on decorations.
Affixing Door God Images
Pasting a door god image on the door is an important custom among Chinese people during Spring Festival. In the beginning door gods were made of peach wood carved into the figure of a man, hanging by the door. Later people pasted printed images on doors.
People paste door gods on doors as a prayer for blessings, longevity, health, and peace. Two door gods on double doors are thought to keep evil spirits from entering. The door gods symbolize righteousness and power in China, therefore Chinese door gods are always scowling, holding various weapons, and ready to fight with evil spirits.
Putting Up Spring Couplets
Spring couplets or New Year couplets (春联: Chūnlián /chwn-lyen/) are paired phrases, typically of seven Chinese characters each, written on red paper in black ink, and pasted one each side of a door frame.
Sometimes a phrase of four or five characters is affixed to the top of the door frame as well. New Year couplets are filled with best wishes. Some people write the couplets themselves, but most people buy them (ready printed) from the market. Pasting spring couplets is thought to keep evil away.
Offering Sacrifices to Ancestors
Where: A popular custom since ancient times, ancestor worship varies widely across China — from sweeping tombs in the wild to worshiping ancestors in ancestral halls or temples. Many (especially rural southern Chinese) people offer sacrifices to their ancestors in the main hall of the house, where an ancestor altar is displayed.
Enjoying a Reunion Dinner
The New Year's Eve Feast is a "must do" dinner with all family members reuniting. Chinese try very hard to make this family event, often traveling long distances. This is the main reason for the huge travel stress throughout China.
People from north and south China eat different foods on this special occasion, and many New Year foods are symbolic. In northern China a traditional dish for the feast is jiaozi (dumplings).
They are shaped like old Chinese ingots, symbolizing wealth. Southern Chinese eat niangao (sticky rice cake) on this special day, because niangao sounds like "yearly higher", symbolizing improvement.
Watching CCTV's New Year Gala
It's become a China custom for many familes to watch the CCTV New Year Gala while having their dinner. The Gala starts at 8pm and ends at midnight when the New Year arrives, featuring traditional, folk, and pop performances from China's best singers, dancers, and acrobats.
Giving Red Envelopes (Lucky Money) to Kids
Parents usually give their children red envelopes after the reunion dinner, wishing them health, growth, and good studies in the coming year. Red envelopes always have money in. Money in red envelopes is believed to bring good luck, as red is China's lucky color, so it's called lucky money.
Staying Up Late
This custom is called shousui (守岁 /show-sway/ ‘to keep watch over the year’). Chinese stayed up all night in the past, but now most stay up only till the midnight firecrackers and fireworks die down.
Listening to a New Year Bell
Chinese New Year's Day (February 16, 2018)
Chinese people believe what they do on the first day of the lunar year affects their luck in that year.
Setting Off Firecrackers and Fireworks(But now most city is forbidden to set off firecrackers)
The moment New Year arrives there is a cacaphony of fireworks and firecrackers all around, even in rural China. Fireworks sound like rocket lauchers, and chains of firecrackers make machine-gun-like noises. Families stay up for this joyful moment. See Why Chinese New Year Must Have Firecrackers?
Watching Lion and Dragon Dances
Lion dances and dragon dances might be seen too on New Year's Day. Once very popular in China, they are reappearing in many places though. They are more popular in Hong Kong and Macau.
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