Lunar New Year

Among all traditional Chinese festivals, Lunar New Year is the most important one as 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.

Flowers

Some families decorate their homes with flowers. Peach blossoms, narcissus and Mandarin orange trees are popular choices. These can also be found at the annual flower markets organised a few days before the Chinese New Year. These markets are often packed with people who come to buy flowers and other novelties.


Lucky Money

In Hong Kong, 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.

Everything New

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' and auspicious colour in Chinese culture, you can see many people wearing red when they visit their relatives in this festival.

The Chinese Zodiac

There are tweleve animals associated with the Chinese Zodiac. Do you know what the rat is the first, and the ox second? Read this story to find out!



Chinese New Year Superstitions

Here are 10 superstitions related to Chinese New Year. Which of these does your family follow?

1. Clean your home before Chinese New Year.
2. Don't clean, especially sweep the floor, on the first day of Chinese New Year.
3. Don't owe anyone money.
4. Don't lend anyone money either.
5. Don't say bad language on the first day.
6. Don't say 'four' in Chinese on the first day. It means 'death'.
7. Don't cry on the first day. You'll cry all year.
8. Don't eat meat on the first day.
9. Don't visit people on the third day. You'll argue with them.
10. Don't wash your hair until the fifteenth day of New Year.