Learn about some of the ways Chinese New Year is celebrated, from folklore and traditions to food.
The Lunar New Year is another name for the Chinese New Year. For every Chinese person, it is the most important holiday of the year, and it has been celebrated in China for thousands of years, with numerous festivities taking place around the country.
The focus of the New Year’s celebration is on letting go of the bad and welcoming in the positive. It’s a time to honor ancestors, cast out evil spirits, and hope for a good harvest.
Let’s take a look at some traditions and ways of celebrating the holiday:
1. New clothes and freshen-up looks
Before the New Year, it is traditional to buy new clothes to wear during the festivities. Wearing new clothes from head to toe symbolizes a fresh start and new hopes for the New Year.
Red is the usual colour to wear during the New Year. Other bright coloured outfits are also acceptable to go with the joyful and upbeat mood. Seen as the colour of good luck, red also wards off evil spirits. Some families dress in qipao or Tangzhuang, which are traditional Chinese clothing.
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Other than new clothing, others will also freshen up their appearance and get a new haircut!
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2. Festive treats
What kind of celebration would be complete without food? The most common foods consumed during these celebrations:
- Mandarin oranges
- Candied fruits
- Glutinous rice cakes
- Peanut cookies
- Tapioca biscuits
Dumplings are one of the most popular dishes, especially in northern China. They frequently conceal coins in some of them. It is said that if you get a dumpling with a penny in the stuffing, you will be wealthy and prosperous in the coming year.
Trays and tins of pineapple tarts, on the other hand, can be seen in the weeks leading up to the New Year. Restaurants, bakeries, and roadside stalls all sell it. Many homemakers sell them as a side hustle.
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3. Spring cleaning and superstitions
You have some free time on your hands. Is this a sign that you should clean your home? No, during the first day of Chinese New Year, even touching cleaning products brings bad luck. Cleaning the house on Chinese New Year’s Day is frowned upon and is considered one of the top Chinese New Year superstitions and taboos. According to Chinese Folklore, cleaning a house on Chinese New Year’s Day is similar to cleaning your house of good luck and wealth.
Ideally, you’ll have cleaned the house before the first day of Chinese or Lunar New Year. While you have the time, sweep the dirt away, mop the floor, and do the laundry. Remove the negative energy and make room for wealth. Spring cleaning is seen to bring good fortune to the home and family during the Chinese New Year.
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