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Chinese Culture >> Chinese Society Traditions

Chinese Spring Festival

The Chinese Spring Festival, also known as Chinese New Year and Lunar New Year, is considered the most important of all the traditional holidays in China. It has been usually called "Lunar New Year," since it has based on the Chinese calendar known as lunisolar.

If you are just joining a Chinese family or cultural situation, it is critical for you to learn New Year customs and celebrate them properly. This is the most significant way for you to integrate socially with Chinese friends and family members, since New Year is the most important time of the year in China.

The tradition usually starts on the 1st day based on the first Chinese month, in their calendar, and it ends with the Lantern Festival which is, on the other hand, on the 15th day of the month. The origin of this tradition in China is already centuries old and has gained significance in relation to their traditions and myths. In fact, the ancient Chinese New Year has become a reflection of how the people believed and in what things they believed the most.

It is a fact that within China, a variety of ways on how the New Year is celebrated is based on their regional traditions and customs. The Chinese will normally pour out their savings to purchase decorations, materials, clothing, presents, and food. A part of the tradition, the families will also clean the whole house, thoroughly and systematically, so that they will drive any bad luck or ill-fortune away, therefore hoping for the cleanliness to make way for incoming good luck and prosperity.

In most house, you will see windows and doors that are decorated with paper-cuts and couplets with red color; all these with themes of "wealth," "longevity," and "happiness." On the Chinese New Year Eve, a family supper is considered a feast. Ducks, sweet delicacies, pigs, and chicken usually decorated the tables. Then before the night ends, they will be having a display of firecrackers; all the children are expected to greet everybody, especially their parents, and wish them not just a happy but a healthy New Year, and in turn, they will receive money placed in red Chinese paper envelopes.

It is also a common belief that the Chinese New Year is a tradition that usually reconciles families, making them forget all the past grudges, and offering sincere wishes of happiness and peace for everyone in the coming New Year.

About the Author

Brian Sutherland is an enthusiast of all Chinese cultural elements. He sells Chinese toys such as Chinese yoyo and contact juggling supplies. Come visit and see them for yourself.