The Spring Festival is the Chinese New Year calculated by the traditional calendar, that is, the beginning of the year and the new year. It is a traditional New Year celebrated in China, Chinese areas and Han communities around the world. It is also known as the New Year, Zhengdan, and New Year of the New Year; it is also called verbally. Celebrating the New Year, celebrating the New Year, celebrating the New Year, and celebrating the new year are the first of the four traditional festivals of the Han nationality.
Beginning in the Ming Dynasty, the Chinese New Year celebrations generally did not officially end until the fifteen-yen Lantern Festival on the first month. In some places, the New Year celebrations even ended the entire first month. After the Revolution of 1911, the official date of the year was changed from the Xia calendar to the Western calendar. Chinese New Year is mostly the same day as Korean New Year, Vietnamese New Year, Ryukyu New Year, and Japanese New Year before the Meiji Restoration.
During the Spring Festival, the elders will give some gifts to the younger generations, wrapped in red envelopes, called “new year money”, commonly known as “red envelopes” (“Lishi” in Cantonese). Children and grandchildren with financial ability will also give red envelopes to their elders. The amount of red envelopes varies: in mainland China, RMB 100 to more than 10,000 yuan; in Taiwan, NT$600 to 6,000 are quite common. Some people pay attention to the red envelope amount, which must be an even number, which is different from the odd amount of “silk gold” given during the funeral. The number “eight” takes its homonym “fa”, which often means lucky. Therefore, in the United States, red envelopes of $8 are very common. The number “six” takes its homophonic “slip”, which also means luck in the coming year. The number “four” contains bad luck because of its homophonic “dead”. Some red packets will contain chocolate coins.
The act of asking for red envelopes is usually called “discussing red envelopes”, and in Cantonese it is called “dulishi”. According to Guangdong custom, red envelopes are usually given to unmarried younger generations in the family by married couples. Out of courtesy and custom, the younger generations will wish their elders happiness, health and good luck in the coming year. Married people will not refuse such a request, because it will mean that those who give red envelopes will have good luck in the coming year. People in some areas store the red envelopes under their pillows and will not open them until seven days have passed. Sleeping for seven days with a red envelope on the pillow symbolizes good luck and wealth.
In Hong Kong and Taiwan nowadays, sometimes some employers will also give red envelopes to Southeast Asian domestic helpers as rewards, but whether this is appropriate is still controversial.
In addition to red envelopes, friends and relatives also exchange small gifts (usually food or sweets). Gifts are usually brought when visiting relatives and friends. Common gifts include fruits (oranges, etc.), pastries, biscuits, chocolates and candies. But some things that are considered taboo cannot be given, such as the clock (homonymous “send the end”), green hat (symbolizes the infidelity of the wife), shoes (the homophonic “xie”, “oh”; in Taiwan means “far farewell”), pear (homonymous “Li”), handkerchiefs (meaning separation), umbrellas (homonymous “dispersion”), and any sharp objects (such as scissors and knives that symbolize a broken relationship).
Fairs or markets on the occasion of the New Year will sell New Year-related goods, such as flowers, toys, clothing and even fireworks, so that people can buy gifts to visit relatives and friends or decorate their homes. In some places, buying new year flowers is not very different from the Western tradition of buying Christmas trees.
New Year Song
In the Cantonese-speaking regions, “New Year’s Songs”, which is the classic traditional folk music “Happy New Year” created by Liu Mingyuan, is more popular. Later, Hong Kong musicians also composed other New Year songs, such as “The God of Wealth”, “Happy New Year”, and “Blessings” wait. There are also adaptations from foreign songs, such as “Happy New Year”, and the melody comes from the American folk song “My Dear Clementine”.
The costumes worn during the Lunar New Year are mainly red or other bright colors, because people think red can ward off evil spirits. In addition, people wear new clothes from head to toe, symbolizing a new beginning. Some people are also wearing Hanfu and other Chinese cultural characteristic costumes.
It is an important ceremony for relatives to gather together to take a family portrait. The photos will be taken in the lobby or outside of the house, with the highest-ranking elder in the family sitting in the center.
Nian Gao means “prosperity every year”. The Guangdong region is different from the Jiangsu and Zhejiang regions.
Reunion dinner, a dinner where the whole family gathers together on the night of New Year’s Eve.
Making dumplings: A Chinese New Year custom in northern provinces. Dumplings are shaped like ingots, and the Song Dynasty silver bill is called Jiaozi, so people think that making dumplings for the New Year will bring wealth.
Spring rolls are food made by rolling up ingredients to welcome the New Year, symbolizing the arrival of joy.
Tangyuan, which means reunion, is a must-have food for New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day and Lantern Festival in Jianghuai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Southern China.
Laba porridge, laba vinegar, laba garlic.
Laoqi Yusheng: A South Sea custom, popular in the area of Singapore and Horses, and it means “the wind engenders the water.”
Fish: Take the meaning of “surplus year after year”.
Chunbing: also known as biting spring.
Turnip: It is one of the customs of the beginning of spring in Heilongjiang, representing auspiciousness and harmony.
Nian Zong: It is a rice dumpling in southern China such as Sichuan and Jiangsu, commonly known as Nian Zong.
Hot pot, ginger duck, soju chicken: one of the local customs in Taiwan, symbolizing reunion.