How You can Join Chinese New Year Celebrations
Chinese New Year is the most important festival for the Chinese among all other holidays. It falls sometime in late January or early February, depending upon the Chinese lunar calendar, which is why it is also known as the Chinese Lunar New Year. It is a 15 day celebration heralding the coming of good fortune. You can get to know a lot more about it by looking it up online. You can also join the festivities in many ways:
- The Chinese visit temples where they burn incense sticks, get their fortunes told and pray for good luck. You could also go to one of these temples and do all of this.
- You should clean your house before Chinese New Year arrives as this is believed to sweep out all the bad luck that has built up inside over the last year and make the home ready to receive good luck again. You should keep yourself fresh and hygienic, perhaps get a new haircut. Don’t clean the house during New Year (13-15 days) as you’ll be sweeping out the good luck.
- The festival decorations are primarily red, as it symbolises good luck. Good luck and wealth are also symbolised by the number 8. You can decorate your home to make it bright and colourful, inviting good fortune. Don’t overdo it though. You could decorate with lotuses (symbols of new growth and rebirth), mandarins (fruits of happiness, always in pairs as uneven numbers invite unhappiness), candles and candies.
- Sacrifice food to the kitchen god, like fruits etc, for a good report in for yourself in heaven. One of the essential parts of the festival is the traditional cuisine prepared for New Year’s Eve. Some Chinese avoid meat for the first day since it carries an animal’s name (different every year). Traditional Chinese preparations include noodles, rice cake, dumplings, chicken, fish, jai and desserts. Jiu (hard liquor) and daikon (Chinese radish) are associated with longevity, while red chillies bring good luck and rice invites harmony. You can cook up Chinese fare yourself instead of simply ordering it from a restaurant.
- This is the best time to wear traditional Chinese attire if you have it. Chinese silk clothing is really lovely. Red is the colour of choice – it brings good luck, wealth, fortune and happiness – to keep the spirit of celebration. Gold is also a good choice.
- The festival is a celebration of happiness, good fortune and goodwill. Be positive in your interactions with other and avoid quibbles and fights since they bring bad luck. Connecting with friends and family to share the celebration is the most significant aspect of Chinese New Year.
- Bursting firecrackers is another way to ward off bad fortune; the loud noises supposedly scare bad spirits away. Plastic firecrackers are also used to decorate the exteriors of Chinese homes.
- You can also visit a Chinese New Year parade, where you can witness all the excitement – firecrackers, music and activities, yummy food, and particularly the dragon dancers. The Lantern festival held on the very last day is also beautiful to witness.