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The Traditions of Chinese New Year  

2010-02-11 22:10:58|  分类: 节日 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Usually, a month before the New Year is a good time to do business.  People will pour out money to buy presents, decorations, foods and new clothes. 

Strictly speaking, the Spring Festival starts every year in the early days of the 12th lunar month and will last till the mid 1st lunar month of the next year. Of them, the most important days are Spring Festival Eve and the first three days. The Chinese government now stipulates people have seven days off for the Chinese Lunar New Year.

Days before the New Year, every family is busy thoroughly cleaning the house to wash away the ill-fortune of the current.  They decorate the doors and windows with paper cutting and couplets featuring an atmosphere of rejoicing and festivity with a variety of very popular theme: "happiness", "wealth", "health", "longevity" and "satisfactory marriage with more children".  Also, pictures of the god of doors and wealth will be posted on front doors to ward off evil spirits and welcome peace and abundance.  

People attach great importance to Spring Festival Eve. Supper is a feast, with all the family members coming together.  The meal is more luxurious than usual. Dishes such as chicken, fish and bean curd cannot be excluded, for in Chinese, their pronunciations, respectively "ji", "yu" and "doufu," mean auspiciousness, abundance and richness. One of the most popular course is jiaozi, dumplings boiled in water, a good wish for a family. After the dinner, the whole family will sit together, chatting and watching the Spring Festival Gala on CCTV.

Customs of observing the New Year vary from place to place and between groups of people. Every light is supposed to be kept on the whole night. At midnight, the whole sky is lit up by fireworks and firecrackers. According to custom, each family will stay up to see the New Year in.

Waking up on New Year, everybody dresses up. First they extend greetings to their parents. Then each child will get money as a New Year gift, tucked inside a red packet. The first five days after the Spring Festival are a good time for relatives, friends, and classmates as well as colleagues to exchange greetings, gifts and chat leisurely.

Several precautions are taken to insure that the New Year will be a good one:  
-No sweeping is done on New Year's Day since the family's good luck might be swept away with the dirt.
-Care must be taken not to break any dishes to avoid bad luck. 

The Lantern Festival, held on the fifteenth day after New Year, marks the end of the New Year season. It is an occasion of lantern shows and folk dances everywhere. Lion and Dragon Dances and parades are also part of the celebration. Lantern festivals and temple fairs will be held for days. One typical food is Tang Yuan, dumplings made of sweet rice rolled into balls and stuffed with either sweet or spicy fillings.

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