WELCOMING THE YEAR OF EARTH PIG 2570
Chinese New Year is a time for family members to gather around the table for some Chinese delicacies. It’s all about spending quality time with family and friends, feasting on food with symbolic meanings, gift giving and sharing good wishes. It is the most important holiday for Chinese people all over the world. Chinese New Year is also known as “The Spring Festival”. It is started on the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month according to Chinese calendar. The festival lasts for about 23 days, ending on the 15th day of the first lunar month in the following year according to Chinese calendar. This year, Chinese New Year will be celebrated on Tuesday, 5 February 2019.
There are many traditions associated with the legends and history surrounding the spring festival. The spring festival was originally a ceremonial day to pray to Gods for harvest season. Many people start to clean their houses and decorate with red items, as red is the main color of the festival and this color is believed to be an auspicious color. Red color is very popular in China. According to the traditional legend, “Nian” a ferocious beast, a half bull with a lion head would come out to destroy the village. The villagers discovered that burning dry bamboo will produce an explosive sound to scare away the beast. This creature was afraid of these three things: fire, noise and red color. As time goes by, lighting firecrackers and fireworks has become a tradition on Chinese New Year to enhance the celebration and it is believed to scare away the evil spirits. Red color is also believed to bring a good fortune, symbol of energy and happiness. Red lanterns are usually hung outside the doors to ward off a bad luck. Mostly, the public decorations should be prepared a month before, while the home decoration is traditionally be done on Chinese New Year’s Eve. You may see every street, building, shopping center and public area will be beautifully decorated with red items. The most popular tradition to celebrate Chinese New Year is to hand out a red envelope filled with money. This red envelope always contains money according to Chinese tradition, usually be given to kids from their parents or grandparents as New Year gift. This red envelope is called “hongbao” in Mandarin. Wrapping money in red envelope is expected to share more happiness and blessings for the receivers. Each New Year is represented by a zodiac animal sign. As 2019 will be a year of the earth pig, all decorations related to pig will be commonly seen. You may also see various kinds of Chinese New Year’s symbols express different meanings. An image of a fish symbolizes “having more than one need every year”, the firecrackers symbolize “good luck in the upcoming year”, while the Chinese lanterns symbolize “pursuing the bright and beautiful”.
Chinese cuisine is the most important part on Chinese culture. Chinese cuisine is widely seen as representing one of the richest and most diverse culinary heritages in the world. Some Chinese believe that certain foods can bring luck and abundance, while its cultures are full of symbolism, especially when it comes to the Chinese New Year. They believe that everything we do can influence how lucky the start of the year will be.
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