How is Chinese New Year celebrated?

Chinese New Year is the most significant Chinese festival of love, happiness, prosperity, and togetherness. It is one of the major lunar festivals in Asia. Apart from China, it is celebrated everywhere else with the Chinese population like Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, or Malaysia. In many parts of North America and Europe also this Chinese New Year is celebrated.

CNY celebrates the start of a new calendar which is also known as the Spring festival. Apart from meeting and greeting the loved ones and exchanging gifts, this festival also honors the deities and ancestors.

Read below and know how this Chinese New Year is celebrated

  • • As it is a big occasion, all schools, colleges, universities, and most of the offices remain closed and the crowd in public transports multiply.
  • • The primary Chinese New Year activities are- home décor or office décor or simply decorating the space where people live or work, enjoying scrumptious food in family dinner, fireworks, and exchanging gifts wrapped in red paper or money in a red envelope.
  • • In many cities or towns across the world wherever Chinese people reside, one can see traditional dance performances like lion dance, dragon dance, or imperial performances like an emperor’s wedding.
  • • People display traditional Chinese products and snack items for others to buy.
  • • This 2024 is going to be the year of the Dragon and that’s why one will see decorations resembling Dragons.
  • •Red followed by golden and yellow are considered lucky colours and in various decorations, one will see the supremacy of these colours.
  • • Red coloured lanterns are hung in streets, red couplets are pasted on doors, and banks/offices decorate with New Year pictures symbolizing prosperity. And all these decorations start a month ago. But cleaning the house and decorating it is done on New Year’s Eve.
  • • Once the home is cleaned and decorated, the time for fancy and delightful family dinner comes. The name of this dinner is “Reunion Dinner”. People wait eagerly for the midnight hours to welcome another year with hope.
  • • In China, people gather around the TV to watch the Spring Festival Gala which is one of the most famous TV shows there while having dinner.
  • • Like any other festival, food plays a big role in Chinese New Year celebrations. There are certain lucky food items that are eaten during the 16-day long festival and also on New Year’s Eve. They are fish, Chinese dumplings, and glutinous Chinese cake. Fish symbolize an increase in prosperity, Chinese dumplings symbolize great wealth, and cake symbolizes a higher income or position.
  • • The other food items that are eaten during CNY are- spring rolls (signifies wealth), sweet rice balls (signifies family togetherness), good fortune fruits like tangerines or oranges (signifies fullness & wealth), and noodles (signifies happiness & longevity).
  • • Another traditional way to celebrate Chinese New Year is to set off firecrackers right from the first minute of the New Year. From public displays to private celebrations – firecrackers or fireworks are seen everywhere. The reason behind this fireworks is that it scares away the evil spirits.
  • • Some people set off firecrackers before the New Year Eve dinner party, some do it right at the arrival of the New Year, and some people prefer to do that right in the morning. Those who do it in the morning believe that it is a symbol of good luck and many families don’t even sweep the red papers left by the firecrackers as that is associated with sweeping wealth away.
  • • The gifts are exchanged then and there are certain things that are gifted and a list of other things that are avoided. Liquor, fruits, tea, cigarettes, and healthcare products are the things that one can gift while shoes, clock, umbrella, chrysanthemums, any sharp objects, and pears are the things that one must not gift. Even Chinese New Year hampers are also popularly exchanged during this occasion.
  • • Also, people of Chinese culture believe that every good thing comes in pairs. And that’s why one must carry two packets of their Lunar New Year gifts. For example, liquor bottles are paired as a gift and two packets or cartons of cigarettes are presented.
  • • There are certain superstitions that are always followed during the Chinese New Year celebration. For example, gifting money or gifts in lucky numbers and red wrappers are a must. Lighting lots of red firecrackers is a must to scare away evil forces and welcome prosperity.
  • • People say Cantonese kung hei fat choi in the Cantonese language, literally meaning “greetings, become rich” and say gongxi facai /gong-sshee faa-tseye/ in the Mandarin language while meeting and greeting during Chinese New Year.