Among all traditional Chinese festivals, Lunar New Year is the most important one. It signifies the beginning of a new year.
New Year Traditions
On Chinese New Year Eve, people have an annual housecleaning. In addition to sweeping the floor and wiping the furniture, families decorate their home with flowers and Spring Couplets, which are short Chinese poems written on vertical scrolls of red paper. These poems usually express good wishes for the family in the year to come. Spring couplets are placed on the doors and walls.
Some families put flowers at home. Peach blossoms, narcissus and Mandarin orange trees are common during this festival. These can also be found at the annual flower markets organized a few days before the Chinese New Year. These markets are usually packed with people who come to buy flowers and other novelties.
Eating, eating, eating!
Since Chinese New Year is a joyous festival, people celebrate with their families by having dinner together on New Year's Eve, and visiting relatives throughout the first few days of the New Year.
Adults will give Lai See (lucky money) to kids and those who are not married. In addition, a candy box (tray of togetherness) will be placed at home with various kinds of sweets and dried fruits to serve relatives and friends when they come to visit.
To welcome the new beginning of a year, many people buy new clothes and new shoes. They wear them during Lunar New Year. As red is a 'happy' colour in Chinese culture, you can see many people wearing red clothes when they visit their relatives in this festival.
In Hong Kong
Click here to see how people celebrate Chinese New Year in Hong Kong. More about local celebration in 2011 can be viewed here.
Last update: January 2011