When we think of Chinese New Year, the things that come to our mind are colourful lights and lanterns, festive mood, sprightly music and yummy treats. However, there is more to Chinese New Year than those things. Knowing the right way to celebrate this event is important whether you’re Chinese or not. Basically, there are 4 main parts that make up the celebration of Chinese New Year.
Putting Up Decorations
Decorations are an important part of this celebration. Almost everyone who wants to join the celebration puts up decorations on their homes, their buildings and even on their business establishments. The decorations are mainly red because it is believed to be the colour of good luck and prosperity. You can see a lot of red coloured decorations such as lanterns, couplets and banners. Gifts are also usually wrapped in red gift wrappers. Even people also wear red clothes during the celebration for good luck. The decorations also vary depending on what year it will be. For example, if the coming year will be the year of the rat, decorations that are rat-themed is a popular pick.
Setting firecrackers and fireworks at midnight is an important part in celebrating Chinese New Year. It is believed that the noise coming from firecrackers drive away the evil spirits that come out during the festival. Today, aside from firecrackers, people also add a wonderful lunar fireworks display to celebrate the coming year and add to the festive vibes of this event.
Just like other festivities, one of the most important parts in celebrating Chinese New Year is to spend quality time with your family. Everyone is expected to be home at midnight, no matter where you’re from, to enjoy a reunion dinner with the family. Every dish served during dinner time has its own meaning. For example, dishes made from fish especially carp or catfish is known to bring good luck. Sticky and sweet Chinese pastries are believed to bring sweetness and closeness to the members of the family.
It is customary to stay up and wait until midnight to welcome the beginning of another year. Families gather together this time, talk and spend time with each other and exchange red envelopes and New Year’s greetings.
Chinese New Year celebration is not enough without gift giving. Traditional ones still do practice gift giving, especially on rural areas. However, younger folks simply prefer to give or receive red envelopes instead of other things. Red envelopes have money inside and are usually given to children and elder people. Because they are red, it implies that you are wishing that person to have good luck and prosperity in the coming year. With the technology we have today, you can now send red envelopes electronically.
There is more to Chinese New Year than festive vibes and colourful atmosphere. By knowing these basic things, you can celebrate this wonderful event in a more meaningful way.