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Chinese New Year - an oriental spring festival


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Chinese New Year - an oriental spring festival


New Year is a favorite holiday for both children and adults all over the world. A special attitude to this holiday is not only in the CIS countries, but also in China. Chinese New Year, whose name translates as "Spring Festival", is a special day for everyone who is interested in and loves the colorful Chinese culture. How is our New Year different from the Chinese one? What traditions and customs are associated with this day, what is customary to eat?

Differences between Chinese New Year and "our"

In both traditions - ours and the Chinese - there are religious beliefs: ideas about gods and beliefs of ancestors. Time passed, traditions changed, holidays acquired new meanings, but the essence remained the same.

Chinese New Year is a holiday of spring associated with the beginning of the lunar cycle. The date of our New Year is fixed, but in China it is mobile: as a rule, it falls on a day between January 21 and February 21. Another similarity: each year has its own symbol - one of 12 animals. The Chinese New Year begins with the launch of fireworks, the main purpose of which is to scare away evil spirits, to attract wealth, health and well-being to people's homes. In the evening, people perform the rite of meeting the gods who have departed for one day to give the "authorities" a report on the past year.

Chinese New Year: traditions and customs

Chinese New Year - days that are especially festive and solemn. People try to observe age-old traditions and customs:

  • It is customary to celebrate the holiday in the family circle
  • A prerequisite is meeting the New Year with wishes for a rich harvest (in ancient times), financial well-being (today)
  • General cleaning and getting rid of all unnecessary is an obligatory stage of preparation for the holiday
  • Decoration of streets and houses in red paraphernalia
  • Children are given toys or envelopes (always red, which are called Hongbao) with small amounts of money
  • Making dumplings. Traditionally, the whole family gathers not to eat festive dishes but to prepare: the older generation passes on their skills in making dumplings to the younger. All this happens behind conversations and jokes, strengthening and forging relationships.
  • After the celebration, no one goes to bed - everyone is having fun, "protecting the year."

What do the Chinese eat for the New Year?

  • Fish is a must-see on the New Year's table. The fact is that in Chinese this word is consonant with the word "excess", therefore fish is a symbol of wealth.
  • Jiaozi dumplings
  • Spring rolls
  • Sweet rice balls
  • Glutinous rice cakes.

Superstition

The Chinese are very superstitious people, and on New Years they especially believe in superstitions and omens that developed thousands of years ago:

  • You can't wash your hair and do house cleaning, so as not to wash away your luck.
  • Children are reassured in every possible way, do not let them cry, so as not to frighten off luck
  • In no case should you take a loan or ask for a loan
  • Girls wear red underwear to protect them from misfortune.

Interesting Facts

  • Young and free Chinese people dislike family New Year because of the questions "When to get married?" Therefore, in China there are thriving sites offering to rent a bride or groom for a one-night celebration.
  • According to statistics, 90% (!) of all fireworks in the world happen in China during the New Year celebrations
  • The Chinese love to celebrate the holiday on the road: 200 million Chinese make their travels during the New Year holidays
  • Chinese New Year is celebrated not only in China, but also in Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea and the Philippines.
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Kuban State University, Russia (World Economics); Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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