How do the Chinese today celebrate Chinese Spring Festival?


During the Chinese spring festival, there are officially three holydays; many Chinese extend this vacation to one week. The Chinese New Year is a great family feast in China. The preparations already start long before the actual feast, making preparations for travelling and decorating the houses – red is the dominating color during that time. Lucky charms are hanged up. They look like banners made from paper and are decorated with luck-bringing signs and proverbs. These are hanged on the doors, but with their front side turned over, since the Chinese “dao” (to turn over) requires nearly the same pronunciation as “dao” (to arrive).

The family meets mostly at the parents or the grandparent’s home. In the best case, the complete family containing of several generations gathers together under just one roof. Presumably, the typical Chinese family will assemble in front of the TV set, in order to see the Chinese programme "chunjie wanhui", which is broadcasted every year since 20 years in Chinese TV from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. in the morning. While seeing this programme they usually prepare Jiaozi together for the next day. At midnight the fireworks start. However, fireworks were forbidden to be held in some of the greater cities, as for example in Beijing within the fourth district.

The fireworks and the red color serve in order to drive away the year’s monster nian (in Chinese: year), for which according to a legend the Chinese once had immense fear and did conceal themselves in their flats in the evening until they found out, that the monster would come only one time during the year and that it feared noise and red color.

At the New Year’s Day during the morning, the Jiaozi, which were prepared in the evening before, are traditionally cooked. Afterwards, the family will gather in order to eat lunch together. However, nowadays, many families prefer going to a restaurant instead of spending New Year’s Day at home.

The relatives will be visited during the following days. During the 15 days, in which the Chinese spring festival traditionally is celebrated, “miaohui” take place. These are performances that take place in monasteries, by using lions- and dragon costumes that are well known in the western world.

The Chinese spring festival traditionally ends with the Lantern Feast, which takes place on the 15th day of the New Year. The temples are decorated with lanterns at that day. Families go for a walk with self-made (or bought) lanterns holding in their hands and they eat the famous yuebing (moon cake), since there is a full moon at that day.

Recommend this article

moreChinese Culture