Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival, is the most important traditional festival in China, which is also the most important holiday of the year for families. 2017 is, according to the Chinese lunar calendar, a year of the Rooster, and this time it falls on Saturday, January 28th.
The festival is not only a feast of China, and anyone who dreams of joining this beautiful celebration can book a flight, also to Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, to some Asian countries like Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam. What is interesting, great celebrations of Chinese New Year are also held in San Francisco in the US, where we can take part in the second-largest (after Asia) Chinese New Year Parade. You can catch a multicity flight as well to Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia, where this fabulous celebration has its unique traditions.
Most interesting places in which the celebration of the Chinese Year are particularly original is a Beijing, Guangzhou, Xian and Pingyao, where the traditions cherished by locals are the cultural heritage, unchanged for years.
Remarkable traditions of celebrating the Chinese New Year
Every year, millions of people around the world celebrating this fantastic festival for two main reasons – to honor the past year of hard work by resting and relaxing in the company of loved ones, and also to wish happiness and prosperity in the coming year. The Chinese believe that a good beginning of the year is the key to happiness and luck so that boisterous celebration will be a guarantee of success in the coming year.
The most significant and exciting at the same time traditional celebration of the Chinese New Year include:
- New Year celebrations are a family feast because it is the most beautiful traditional dinner in the circle of close ones. “Reunion dinner” is considered the most important meal of the year. Large multigenerational families at the time sit down at a roundtable, enjoying a joint feasting. The revelry lasts for 15 days!
- Small and larger villages abound in cultural events, which include firecrackers, the remembrance of ancestors and dragon dances. The majestic spectacle of fireworks is an integral part of the celebration throughout China. In many Chinese cities, we can see traditional performances like dancing of the lions and stories about the wedding of the Emperor.
- The red decoration of houses and streets delight with a pleasant tone and hanging lanterns and New Year paintings depicting images of prosperity, bring a unique atmosphere. Most of the decoration appears on Chinese New Year’s Eve, and because 2017 will be the year the rooster, its symbol will appear everywhere – even in the form of red dolls for children.
- Red envelopes with the best wishes are traditional Chinese custom of gifts (like gifts for Christmas in the West). Red envelopes with money are given to children, single people and the elderly, in the hope that they will provide them happiness.
- Treats that guarantee prosper in the coming year, it is in China a very important tradition. Eaten during the New Year’s Eve dinner foods have symbolic meaning. An example can be fish, which supposed to give a surplus of money and happiness.
- Fireworks and firecrackers is a symbolic tradition, which is to say goodbye to the Old and welcome the New Year. At first fired up is a string of small firecrackers, and then three big fireworks that are to be reflected in the new year by giving happiness and success in business and crops.
- Prayer in the temple is essential to obtain the blessing and prosperity of the important issues in the coming year. Most people gather in the largest Chinese Longhua Temple in Shanghai.
Apart from tradition, the Chinese believe in numerous superstitions, so to avoid bad luck, they follow the many rules and habits that will help prevent disasters in the coming year. Among the most popular notion is a ban on washing hair for the first three days of celebration avoiding of lending money, or calming of children because the cry of a child can bring bad luck for the whole family. Popular is also wearing red scarves, which has to protect against misfortunes in the year of a Rooster.
Dainty and traditional dishes of Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is the perfect time to visit China or another corner, which celebrates this extraordinary festival. The flight to Beijing or another city may be an opportunity to meet closer the amazing traditional culture and cuisine, which at this particular time of the year is incredible.
- Traditional dishes, which are an integral part of the New Year’s Eve are Jiaozi and Niangao. The first one is dumplings stuffed with meat or vegetables with the addition of soy sauce, vinegar, and hot peppers, Niangao this, in turn, is a dish of sticky rice, which is to symbolize the permanence of family ties and a better life in the next year.
- On the second day of celebration, are served Wonton dumplings shaped like gold bars, and they have to honor the Dog – one of the Chinese deities. In regions of China, where dog meat is eaten, that day you can not touch it.
- On other days, are eaten various dishes depending on the region of the country. In the north is preparing Jiaozi (dumplings), elsewhere people eat sweet fruits and wine.
- On the seventh day of New Year celebrations is the “Day of the Man,” and to commemorate the Chinese goddess Nu Wa is eaten a dish called Yu Sheng, which consists of seven goodies.
- At midnight, between the eighth and the ninth day of New Year are celebrated the birthday of the Jade Emperor, the God of Heaven, which is famous for the fact that he does not eat meat. That day, are prepared two tables covered with red tablecloths. The Chinese calendar predictions say that one of them should be a “three bundles of long pasta, three cups of green tea, five different types of fruits and six different kinds of raw vegetables.” The second one, which is to honor guard Jade Emperor, contain a five meat dishes and sweet pastries, among which must be included colored cookies in the shape of a turtle. Obligatory are also hard-boiled, dyed in red hen eggs.
- On the last day of New Year holidays takes place Yuan-Xiao or Feast of Lanterns. That day is eaten Chinese food Yuan-Xiao, which is similar in shape of the full moon.
As you can see the Chinese New Year is much different from the familiar to us New Year’s Eve. The grand celebrations last longer, and the tradition is richer in intricate and unique details, and tasty cuisine and magical customs make that you can not resist them. The flight to Shanghai costs about £294!China New Year, Chinese New Year 2017, Spring Festival 2017