Spring Festival customs

Source:Globaltimes.cn Published: 2018/2/13 17:28:53

Chinese all over the world are ready to celebrate the Spring Festival. Traditionally, each day is celebrated with different customs. Let’s take a look.

New Year’s Eve (Chuxi): Falling on February 15 this year, this important day is when the entire family gathers for a big meal and stay up the whole night together. The non-stop feasting into the wee hours not only symbolizes the love that brings family together, but also is held to ward off evil spirits and welcome good fortune for the New Year. Photo: Xinhua


New Year’s Day (Chunjie): The first day of the lunar calendar is symbolized by a “golden rooster crowing at dawn” – an auspicious omen. When the clock strikes midnight, people light firecrackers as part of a folk custom to scare away nian, an evil spirit that brings bad luck. During the day, younger family members visit their seniors, and children receive red envelopes of money. According to custom, it is forbidden to sweep the home, otherwise all the New Year’s luck and fortune will be swept away. Photo: Xinhua

Day 2: This day is also known as “Son-in-law welcome day” as married daughters traditionally visit their own families with their husbands. Some believe the second day is also the birthday of all dogs, which are fed special New Year’s treats. Photo: Xinhua


Day 3: This day is symbolized by “fat pigs at the doorstep,” which indicates the arrival of happiness and good luck. The day is associated with Chigou, the god of anger in Chinese folklore, and visiting or receiving guests is not encouraged. However, this custom is falling out of practice as people travel from greater distances for reunions. Photo: Xinhua


Day 4: The day is symbolized by “three goats bringing bliss,” a sign of peace and safety. It also marks the return of the Kitchen God (Zaoshen), who was sent to heaven to report on the family’s conduct over the past year. It is advised that families should stay at home and wait for Zaoshen’s arrival. Photo: Xinhua


Day 5: Today marks the birthday of Caishen, the God of Wealth, which is usually celebrated with a huge banquet. It’s also called the day of Powu, which refers to “breaking of the five taboos” – when certain traditional restrictions are lifted. Photo: Xinhua


Day 6: This is the traditional day of “spring cleaning”: people throw away trash, old clothes, and other things they’ve accumulated over the year to drive away the ghost of poverty. According to tradition, 12-year-old boys are most welcomed on this day, as the number 12 is also “Double 6” (liu liu da shun), which in Chinese is a homonym for “everything goes smoothly”. This is also when family festivities come to a close and people head back to work the next day. Photo: Xinhua


Lantern Festival (Yuanxiao): Held on the 15th day of the first month, Lantern Festival marks the first full moon of the New Year, symbolizing unity and perfection. Traditionally people light lanterns and eat Yuanxiao (sweet dumplings made with glutinous rice flour). This day also marks the official end of the long holiday. Photo: Xinhua



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