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Chinese New Year Customs and Traditions

Chinese New Year celebrations, which usually start with the New Year’s Eve and end up with the Lantern Festival, last for sixteen days. The article is going to reveal you the most significant traditions of the Chinese New Year, including firework displays, sacrifices to the ancestors, and New Year greetings.  

Setting Off Firecrackers and Fireworks

Chinese people are inclined to believe that the way they spend the first day of the lunar year influences their luck in the forthcoming year. For this reason, they attempt to make this day the most memorable and joyful event in the whole year, by setting off myriads of fireworks and firecrackers.

In such major cities as Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou, owing to the danger and noise disturbance, the government has imposed an outright ban on lighting fireworks. However, people in the towns and countryside stick to the firecracker traditions and, with the twelfth strike of the clock, the air is bursting with the flamboyant sparkles of the fireworks.

Sacrifices to Ancestors

Place. A widespread custom of the ancestor worship, originated in the ancient times, differs significantly across China. Despite the tradition of sweeping the tombs in the wild, mostly, Chinese people, especially the villagers, make sacrifices to the ancestors in the halls or temples with the display of an altar.

Time. The Chinese worship the ancestors during the several days of the Spring Festival, but New Year’s Day appears to the most significant for this tradition.

Reason. Sacrifices to the ancestors manifest respect and grief over the departed relatives.

New Year Greetings

On the first day of the New Year, the Chinese put on the new clothing and, by saying gongxi, which means best wishes, they greet each other with such a fascinating festival. As a rule, they wish each other good luck, longevity, health, and happiness, also paying elder relatives a visit. In recent years, instead of visiting relatives and friends, the youngsters tend to send New Year cards or just greeting text messages.

General Traditions

New Year: Day 2

On the 29th of January, which is the second day of the New Year’s celebrations in 2017, a married daughter pays her parents a visit.

New Year: Days 3-7

From the 30th of January till the 3rd of February, the Chinese traditionally visit their friends and relatives. Sometimes, the third day is devoted to visiting the family tombs.

During the first two days of the New Year, the Chinese do not tidy up their house because they believe they can sweep away the good luck, represented by the mess of the fireworks, red wrappers, and other evidence of the festivities.

New Year: Day 8

As eight is considered as the luckiest day in China, people return to work in the hope to have a profitable year.

New Year: Day 15 (February 11, 2017)

The fifteenth day of the New Year, known as the Lantern Festival, marks the end of the Spring Festival. On this day, people usually fly glowing lanterns into the sky or make them float on the sea or rivers.

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