Chinese New Year Traditions and Beliefs
Chinese New Year is held not just in China but also on countries where significant numbers of Chinese people are living. Chinese New Year is yearly celebrated in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Macau, Taiwan, Philippines and Mauritius. It is also widely celebrated on Chinatowns at some other countries around the globe. For 2013, the Chinese New Year will fall on the second month of the Western Gregorian calendar, which is in February. Chinese are basing their New Year’s Day from their lunisolar calendar. As shown on the Chinese lunisolar calendar, Chinese New Year will be on the 10th of February 2013 and the year ends on January 30 2014. Of course, the New Year celebration will be held on the very first day of the first month in Chinese lunisolar calendar.
Chinese New Year Traditions and Beliefs significance
A couple of weeks before the New Year celebration, the Chinese will have enormous preparations and they wait for the big day with thrill of excitements. Before the New Year comes, people will clean up their entire houses. Cleaning their homes is one of the major tasks that must be done for this special day. It is a major belief on the Chinese that cleaning up their whole houses will get rid of all those bad lucks which were gathered by the previous year. After the New Year’s day, they will not sweep their houses on the very first day or else the new luck will be brushed off.
Before the New Year Celebration can start, Chinese people pay respect first to their ancestors. They go to temples and pray for prosperity for the New Year. They’ll bring foods and incense to offer to the spirits of the departed on which they believe that the acts will bring good luck to their lives.
During the special day, you can see red banners hanging in the main entrances and windows on Chinese’s homes. In these banners are messages written in Chinese words that say “good luck.” In Chinese belief, red is a lucky color that represents happiness and vitality in life. As for the New Year’s banquet, it important that foods must prepared ahead of time before the big celebration. It is a superstition of the Chinese people that all knives must be kept away during the celebration for these blades may cut off the good luck for the upcoming year. Many types of foods are prepared before the New Year. Each of these foods has significant meaning. Shrimp for instance, is believed to bring abundance. Oranges bring wealth and money while apples bring peace. Chicken and sweet rice cakes are for wealth and meat dumplings brings good luck.
On the second day of the celebration, married daughters will visit their parents, close friends and relatives. Traditionally, daughters do not have many opportunities to visit their birth parents. Some Chinese also believe that the second day after the New Year’s celebration is the birthday of all dogs and this is the time to treat these animals with extraordinary care.
After all the gatherings, gift giving and food eating, the celebration will be finished with fireworks and huge bangs from firecrackers. The loud noises from fireworks are believed to completely drive away all the bad luck from the previous year.
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