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How to Celebrate Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year, also called spring festival is the most important event of Chinese. Every year one-sixth of the world’s population celebrates this grandest festival. It is not only celebrated in China, but also celebrated in some of the major Chinese communities overseas such as Chinatowns in New York, London, Toronto, Paris, Sydney and many other places. You may have seen that those Chinatowns are decorated in red things and people there set lots of fireworks and display dragon dance during Chinese New Year. But how exactly the Chinese New Year is celebrated? Here in this article, we have every detail for you.

Festival Time

Enjoy a Reunion Feast Dinner

On Chinese New Year eve, families get together and enjoy a reunion feast. Nowadays in china, many younger Generations of the family would seek their fortune in bigger cities like Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou. They could be busy all the year round and Chinese New Year holiday could be the a few chances for them to get back to meet their parents and relatives.

During the New Year eve feast, dumplings are essential on the table. Because its shape is like the ancient Chinese ingots, so the saying goes that the more dumplings you eat during Chinese New Year, the more money and the bigger fortune you could earn in the coming year. Similar to dumplings many other dishes on the table are all symbolizing wealth, good fortune or lucky, such as fish, Nian Gao etc.

Learn more about Top Lucky Foods during Chinese New Year.

chinese new year eve dinner

CCTV New Year Gala

New Year gala is a traditional Chinese new year television gala holds by CCTV since 1984. Chinese call it Chunwan, literally meaning spring festival evening program. Singing and dancing, acrobatics, magic tricks, skits, Chinese opera and short comedy shows are well arranged and displayed during this 4-hour gala.

Why Chunwan is so popular?

It is an excellent work containing efforts of the best director team, the best celebrity hosts’ team, the best stage light IT team and the most popular singers and comedy stars of the year in China each year. That’s partly explains why it’s so popular and many comedy performers go popular across the country overnight and many people take it as a huge honor to perform on the Chunwan stage.

chinese new year cctv gala

Give Red Envelop to Kids

Collecting red envelops from parents and relatives during Chinese New Year could be the happiest moment apart from a winter vacation free from school for kids. On Chinese New Year eve, parents and grandparents should give their kids red envelopes packed with lucky money for good wishes. Learn more about How to Send Red Envelope via Alipay.

red envelop

Play Mahjong

Mahjong (麻將, má jiàng) is a fast-paced, four-player game played throughout the year but particularly during Chinese New Year. It’s a small scale funny gambling game popular in China. Some people would stay overnight to chat and play mahjong with their families.

Launching Fireworks and Firecrackers

At midnight, people will countdown to the New Year ring bell, welcome the New Year’s coming and greet each other with happy new year!——Xin Nian Kuai Le! Families will get outside to launch fireworks and firecrackers to greet the coming of the New Year. According to tradition, the noise and bright color created by the firecrackers will drive away evil spirits. This origins from ancient time when people used fireworks to scare away the monster Nian.

Learn more about Origin of Chinese New Year——Tale of Nian.

new year fireworks

Following Days

Visiting Friends and Relatives

On the first to third day of the New Year, people are supposed to stay home and enjoy reunion time with their parents. From the fourth day to the seventh day, people should visit their friends and relatives greet happy New Year to each other. When you are visiting friends and relatives during Chinese New Year, it is an important courtesy to bring some New Year gifts for them. Learn more about gifts ideas and what to bring for your Chinese friends during Chinese New Year holiday visit.

Temple Fairs

Temple fair is another traditional festival practice especially in Beijing. They originally were a form of worship connected with temples, but now they are more like carnivals containing lion and dragon dances in between. Traditional cultural performances such as traditional magic, puppet shows can be seen. People can get many products at low price on this kind of temple fair. This is different than that in Hong Kong where people are queuing up and crowded outside the temple, waiting to be the first one to run into the temple to pray for a good fortune for the coming year.

Learn more about Celebrate Chinese New Year in Hong Kong.

new year temple fairs

Lion and Dragon Dance

People normally return to work by the eighth day. Many businesses also prefer to reopen on New Year day 8 as eight is a lucky number in Chinese culture. In the Chinese culture, the dragon is the deity of water ensuring that no drought will come. The lion symbolizing power and courage helps ward off evil spirits. Many malls will hire a lion and dragon dance team to perform a show on its first open day of the New Year to attract eye-balls and get a great beginning of the new year.

lion and dragon dance

Lantern Festival

Lantern Festival is the fifteenth day of a new year, which is the first full moon of the year according Chinese lunar calendar. This day marks the Spring Festival Celebration ends here. People eat Tangyuan which symbolizes reunion and appreciate colorful lanterns on this day. Thus the whole celebration of Chinese New Year ends and people get back to their lives again and keep seeking fortunes with all the good wishes and energies they collected during New Year period.