the various and many celebrations and festivities for the Chinese,
Chinese New Year is always deemed the most important
of all. Chinese families
living in different part of the country or the world will make
it a point to get together for Chinese New Year
This homecoming is very similar to the Western concept of getting
New Year is also known as Lunar New Year as well
Spring Festival. Each Chinese Year is also symbolized
by an animal, very much like the Western Zodiac. The animal to
is The Rat. In 2006, it was the Dog and in 2007, it was the Pig
and in 2009, it will be the Ox. There are 12 animals in the Chinese
Zodiac and each animal will not appear
12 years later.
of Chinese New Year
There are many myths as to how Chinese New Year
most common one is that in ancient China, every year, a big monster(Nian) would
come out during the beginning of the year and start devouring
people, animals and crops. Year after year, this
monster would terrify the people.
day, a villager suggested firing off fire crackers, bang loud
gongs and fly colorful red banners
off the monster. It
worked! The monster was terrified by the loud noise
and color.... and disappeared as quickly as it appeared!
then onwards, people would always fire off loud fire crackers,
beat gongs and drape their houses with red banners
to ensure the big, bad monster never return again. Till today,
Chinese New Year is still celebrated in this traditional manner.
course, that's just a myth.
reality, the Chinese uses a Lunar Calendar which
is different from the Georgian or Western calendar,
and so, the start of the Lunar New Year is time for celebration,
very much like New year on the Western Calendar. It is also
the time when crops are fully harvested and preparations are
for the new planting year and people have some time to rest
and celebrate. This is why Chinese New Year is sometimes known
The Spring Festival.
of CNY Celebrations
CNY celebrations starts with a reunion dinner on
the eve of CNY. This is where family members get together, no matter
they are in the country or the world, and sit down for the
most important meal of the yearl. Reunion dinner is always celebrated
at home but in recent years, more and more families tend to have
in a good restaurant.
dinner, true to the Chinese nature, playing cards and mahjong
tiles will appear and a gambling session amongst familiy members
will start. Once the clock strikes twelve, this is where you
will hear firecrackers and fire works being fired off everywhere.
The firecrackers mark the official start of CNY.
recent years, the Chinese government has clamped down on firecrackers
and fireworks in the cities because of fire hazards. Today, the
lighting of fireworks is most likely to happen in the villages
New Year is celebrated with visiting of relatives and friends.
Junior members of the family will need to visit senior or elderly members of
th family. Everyone is expected to wear new clothes and shoes
RED or anything bright!
and is a major source of 'wealth' for children for the rest of
will chit-chat and catch up with one another. They are also likely
to have gambling sessions with friendly stakes. Meantime, children
will be having new year goodies, games and playing with fireworks.
town centres and TV stations, there will be displays of dragon
and lion dance, acrobats, traditional chinese dance and songs,
stilt walkers, Chinese Opera, wushu performances and other traditional
the olden days, festivities will last for 15 days while today,
most people will celebrate for 3-4 days and spend the rest
of time at home. Most other Asian cities outside of China merely
celebrate for two days.
Beliefs for CNY
There are many beliefs and taboos associated with Chinese New Year. Some of these
No sweeping or housekeeping during Chinese New Year
This is to avoid sweeping 'wealth' and 'health' out of the house
Children cannot sleep on the eve of Chinese New Year
It is believed that the longer children stay up late on CNY eve,
the longer their parents will get to live
Children cannot be scolded during Chinese New Year
Parents will avoid scolding children during this period or back
luck will fall on their children
Only red or bright clothes can be worn during Chinese New Year
Black or dark clothes will bring disaster for the new year
greetings for Chinese New Year
If you have Chinese friends, do visit them at home during CNY and
you will be most welcomed. Make sure you learn a word or two of
most common festive greetings for Chinese New Year are:
Xi Fa Cai" - Have a prosperous new year
Ni Nian Nian You Yu" - Wishing you an abundant year
Nian Kuay Le" - Happy New Year.
you may like to bring two mandarin oranges when visiting someone
during Chinese New Year. Oranges. looking like gold ingots, symbolizes
that you are bringing
the family. If the Chinese family
is someone that you are familiar with, you may even want to give
red packets (containing a token sum of money) to their children.
If you have children, you are most likely to recieve red packets
for them as well.
to wear bright colors when you visit!
more information about Chinese working culture and etiquette, check
out this interesting China
Book. Or email us
for further information.