Millions of people will welcome the Year of the Snake this Sunday.
The Chinese New Year or Lunar Year is considered as the most important and longest holiday among the Chinese people which will last from two weeks to two months.
This annual holiday is very significant not only among the Asian countries but also in the Chinese communities across the globe. The celebration is a very festive and colorful season considering the greetings, traditional decorations, street performances, dragon and lion dances, fireworks and sumptuous food.
This is also the time where millions of people in China will travel just to be reunited with their families. This movement of people has always been considered as the “biggest mass human migration on earth”.
Here are some interesting beliefs and traditions in celebrating the Chinese New Year:
- A clean house welcomes good luck. All the elements that cause sickness and bad luck are swept away. The whole part of the house must be well-lighted on New Year’s eve to welcome good vibes.
- Red and gold decorations with messages wishing for good luck and prosperity are placed on their doors and windows.
- At 11 pm before the New Year, Chinese families gather altogether to give thanks and worship their dead ancestors or relatives whom they believe can bring them good fortune.
- When midnight strikes Chinese families hold their reunion dinner which is called Tuan Nian or Wei Lu or the family gathering on Lunar’s eve.
- Traditional dishes that bring prosperity and long life are prepared and eaten. According to their belief, chicken symbolizes prosperity; whole fish strengthen prosperity if partially consumed and the Jiaozi or Chinese dumpling allows individual to gain wealth.
- On New Year’s Day, children will receive a red envelope containing money from their parents and this is called Hong Bao or Lai Shi.
- People have to wear new red clothes during the first three days of their New Year for prosperity and good luck.