5 Different Traditions to Celebrate Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival and Lunar New Year, is practically the most important holiday of the year in China, as it is seen as an opportunity to strengthen family ties.

The Woman Post | Carolina Rodríguez Monclou

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Here are some traditions you can join in, too, no matter where you are.

Year of the Ox

A week of Lunar Year celebrations in China began on February 11, 2021, although the official start of the holiday is the next day. From traditional dance performances to family dinners, the locals welcome the Year of the Ox.

According to China Highlights, people born under the zodiac sign of the Ox (in 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, or 2021) have the personality traits of diligence, patience, and humility. The Ox symbolizes the harvest and good luck in China. People born in the Year of the Ox are also known to be very tough, organized, and hardworking.

1. Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning is essential and should be done one week before the Chinese New Year. You can clean your closet or things you don't use anymore around the house. Make sure everything is spotless, and the reason behind that is that the Chinese believe that by cleaning everything in the house, they are getting rid of all the bad things that happened last year and just about anything that could be construed as a bad omen, karma or fortune. Everything negative is cleaned up and taken out of the house.

2. Spring Festival Couplets

The New Year's parchment is often at the entrance and is red with gold writing, usually on the side and on top. The most common one you probably see today is the word "Fu", which means luck, happiness, or good fortune. Written backward it means "Fu Dao / Fu Dao", which means "luck should come here or luck has come". This tradition is done to ward off evil spirits and drive away all bad things to protect good people inside the house.

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3. Stay Up Until Midnight

Typically, on Chinese New Year's Eve, you invite family and friends, and you tend to stay up until after midnight. In traditional days, people believed that an evil spirit, which was a monster, would come and do bad things. To stay safe, family is gathered with good food and candlelight or anything bright and is at home with their loved ones.

4. Firecrackers

The Chinese make many firecrackers at exactly midnight, to scare away the monster that comes out on New Year's Eve, and also as a symbol of good fortune. So, at the same time, you are driving away evil spirits. Again you are filling yourself with good luck.

5. Food Party

Many times, you see families with all the dishes in the city, be it fish, pork, rice, chicken, duck and all kinds of food. On the north side of China, they like to make bag-shaped dumplings. Everything symbolizes fortune and good luck; even some dishes are shaped like money.

Luna's New Year is a time to be healthy, rich, and wise all at the same time. Chinese culture is vibrant and very kind to its guests. You can also try some of these traditions to bring good fortune into your life and home this year.