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2018 Chinese New Year Tradition

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Preparing for the Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year celebrations last for the first fifteen days of the Chinese lunar calendar which is different from the Western calendar that can sometimes begin between January and February. Celebrating the Chinese New Year often includes folk traditions, feasts, decorations, and parades. There are many ways you can participate in the Chinese New Year celebrations and join the festive days that Chinese New Year brings.  Here are some of the ways you can celebrate the Chinese New Year:

1. Prepare for the holidays. It is an ancient Chinese tradition to clean the house during this time of year because it’s believed to “sweep away” bad luck that had been built up over the previous year. This tradition also makes your house ready for good luck to start coming in your home again. Remember that you should not clean your home after the New Year has begun as it’s believed that you will sweep away the good luck that you’ve received. You can start cleaning again 15 days after the New Year started.

2. Decorate with red decorations. The Chinese culture believes that red is the color of good luck, which is why red decorations are used for the New Year celebrations. Aside for color, the number 8 is also believed to bring good luck and wealth mainly because its Chinese character rhymes with fortune and wealth.

3. Place fruits and flower bowls. This Chinese tradition includes placing flowers throughout the house. Chinese people often use lotus flowers because it symbolizes rebirth. You may also place bowls of oranges and mandarins in the house. For additional good luck, it’s best to place an even number of fruits on the bowl and eat them in pairs.

Chinese Culture and Customs

The Chinese New Year may seem complicated for foreigners but some of the basic Chinese traditions are very interesting. Here are some of the most popular traditions for celebrating the Chinese New Year:

1. Firecrackers.As mentioned earlier, most Chinese New Year tradition dates back thousands of years ago. Firecrackers are, according to folk legend, used to repel monsters that are believed to appear just before the Spring Festival. In the past, firecrackers were made out of bamboo and can crack very loudly when you hold it near a fire. Nowadays, firecrackers are made out of gunpowder. In this Chinese New Year tradition, at least one male from each family will light 1,000 firecrackers at midnight on Chinese New Year’s Eve.

2. Incense. Chinese people often burn incense at a temple on the first day of the Chinese New Year. It is said that by burning incense, it will bring one’s family good fortune in the new year and can also make New Year wishes come true.

3. Worship. On the second day of the New Year, people (most often families or businesspeople) offer cakes, fruits, or other kind of cooked food as worship to the God of Wealth. In this Chinese New Year Tradition, married women pay their parents a visit while married men are free to choose when they’ll pay their parents a visit.

4. Red Envelopes. During the Chinese New Year, one of the main traditions is to visit relatives and friend. Children usually receive money as gifts that come in small red envelopes (also call “hong bao”). These gifts are to wish them safety all throughout the New Year. Most Chinese parents also place oranges and mandarins together with a red envelope on their children’s pillow as the Chinese names for oranges and mandarins sound very similar to the words “luck” and “wealth”.

5. Temple Fairs.During the Spring Festival, people put up temple fairs. Folk art and trading markets are the most popular places that people go to. Temple fairs are where lion dances, dragon dances worship dances, and other traditional folk art happen. People usually go to temple fairs on the third day of the New Year and the days after that.

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