Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year is approaching and people in China are all getting ready to travel back to their hometown and meet their families. The Chinese New Year, also called the Spring Festival, is the most important traditional festival and most important celebration for families in China. The Chinese calendar is associated with the Chinese Zodiac, it is a repeating cycle of 12 years where each year being represented by an animal and 2015 is the year of goat.

Chinese New Year Decorations and symbols

Before the D-day, family buys presents, decorations, food, new clothes, people have their hair cut and the houses are cleaned. The aim is to get rid of any bad luck from the previous year and clear the way for good luck.

Lights like Christmas lights will light up homes and doors & window are often newly painted in red. On New Years Eve, both narrow strips of red paper (Chunlian or Spring Couplets), and bunches of firecracker decorations are hung on doors to bring good luck. The Chunlian decorations are marked with messages of good luck. In the first 3 days of Chinese New Year celebrations, people light firecrackers, making a series of loud bangs, which is believed to scare away bad luck.


Spring couplets (photo from www.cits.net)

The color red is chosen because it is believed to be a lucky color and it is supposed to chase off the monster Nian, who is thought to come on New Year Eve. The color gold symbolizes wealth.

A red lantern is a symbol of luck and prosperity but also as a mean of “lighting the way” for the family’s Kitchen God on an important annual mission to see the Jade Emperor. People want the Kitchen God to give a good report of their family to the Jade Emperor so that they will have a good harvest and make more money in the coming year.


Red lanterns in Thean Hou Temple (photo from teewallpapers.net)

Chinese New Year Food

Certain dishes are eaten during the Chinese New Year for their symbolic meaning, which is based on their pronunciations or appearance.

The word “fish” in Chinese sounds like surplus. For Chinese, it is good to have a surplus at the end of the year, because it is thought that if you save something at the end of the year, then you can make more in the next year.

Dumplings are a classic Chinese food. Different dumpling fillings have different meanings. On New Year’s Eve it is a tradition to eat dumplings with cabbage and radish, implying that one’s skin will become fair and one’s mood will become gentle.


Dumplings (photo from magazine.fourseasons.com)

The longevity of noodles symbolize a long life. Longevity noodles are longer than normal ones.

Spring rolls get their name because they are traditionally eaten during the Spring Festival. Fried spring rolls look like gold bars and symbolizes a wish for prosperity.


Spring rolls (photo from www.sheknows.com)

Shanghai Metal Corporation would like to wish you a wonderful Chinese New Year celebration, good health, luck and much happiness in the year of Sheep. Gong Xi Fa Cai !

Original article : www.chinahighlights.com, www.topmarks.co.uk

    

Ayu P.//SMC Editor

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Shanghai Metal Corporation

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