The Experts in China Travel
The first day of the first lunar month is regarded as the Chinese New Year of–the Spring Festival, which is the most important and ceremonious traditional festival in China. It is usually from first day of lunar January to fifth day of lunar January, lasting about 15 days in total. What Spring Festival to Chinese, Christmas Day to Westerners.
Spring Festival, together with Tomb-sweeping Day, Dragon Boat Festival, and Mid-Autumn Day, are referred as the four most important traditional festivals in China. The following highlights the traditions associated with Chinese Spring Festival.
Around December 24 in the lunar Chinese calendar, Chinese people will engage in some cleaning around the house to welcome the approaching New Year. People usually clean appliances, curtains, yards, kitchens, and the like. Each household is quite busy but the atmosphere is typically joyous during house-cleaning.
Pasting Spring Festival Couplets
During each Spring Festival, all families in both urban and rural areas will paste spring festival couplets on their door, expressing their best wishes to the new year. The couplet is composed of two parts, the first and second line. When posting the couplets, people try to abide by the rules; that is, the first line on the right and the second line on the left.
Enjoy Family Reunion Dinner on New Year’s Eve
The night before the Spring Festival is traditionally called “New Year’s Eve,” when each family enjoys a family reunion dinner together. That’s why so many people working far away from home typically travel back home for this great dinner. That evening, all the family members sit together and enjoy the savory family reunion dinner together, talking and laughing together.
Give Gifts of Money to Children
During the Chinese Spring Festival, people will give gift money to children, which is usually called hong bao in Chinese. The gift money is usually wrapped in red paper. During the Spring Festival, when children send their best wishes to elderly people, the elders are expected to give some money prepared beforehand to the children, wishing them health and happiness in the new year.
Stay up late on New Year’s Eve
Staying up on New Year’s Eve is another important tradition during the Spring Festival. This tradition could be traced back to the Western Jin dynasty in Chinese history. On the New Year’s Eve, people would invite some friends to gather together and stay up until dawn together.
On the first day of the spring festival, people would get up early to pay new year calls to each other. The young usually call their elders first, expressing their best wishes for health and longevity to them, then the elders would usually give the gift-money (or hong bao) prepared ahead of time to the young children, wishing them a peaceful and healthy new year.
Exploding firecrackers is another common activity during the Chinese Spring festival, which enjoys a history of more than 2,000 years. During the Spring Festival, you can hear the firecrackers exploding here and there, bringing a very exciting atmosphere to the new year. Nowadays, apart from setting off firecrackers during the Spring Festival to welcome the New Year, people also explode them on other significant occasions, such as weddings, opening ceremonies of the Olympics, and the like.
Watch the New Year’s Gala
The New Year’s Gala is a special large recreational show produced by China Central Television shown on Chinese New Year Eve to celebrate the coming new year. The show is a perfect combination of various acts, like drama, dance, music, and comedy. On Chinese New Year Eve, all the family members sit together to watch this terrific gala together, immersing themselves in a peaceful, harmonious and joyous atmosphere.