The Spring Festival or Chinese New Year is the most important festival for the Chinese people and is when all family members get together, just like Christmas in the West. All people living away from home go back, becoming the busiest time for transportation systems of about half a month from the Spring Festival. Airports, railway stations and long distance bus stations are crowded with home returnees.
The Spring Festival falls on the 1st day of the 1st lunar month, often one month later than the Gregorian calendar, People’s sacrifice to ancestors at the end of an old year and the beginning of a new one, in during the time, the most important days are Spring Festival Eve and the first three days. The Chinese government now stipulates people have seven days off for the Chinese Lunar New Year.
Many customs accompany the Spring Festival, some are still followed today, but others have weakened.
After the Preliminary Eve, people begin preparing for the coming New Year.
This is called: Seeing the New Year in.
To clean houses on the New Year Even is a very old custom dating back to thousands of year ago, the dust is traditionally associated with: old, so cleaning their houses ans sweeping the dust mean to bid farewell to the old and usher in the new, days before the New Year, Chinese families clean their houses, sweeping the floor, washing daily things, cleaning the spider webs and dredging in the ditches. People do all these things happily in the hope of a good coming year.
one of the house decoration is to post couplets on doors, the content varies from house owners wishes for a bright future to good luck for the New Year. New Year couplets are usually posted in pairs are even number are associated with good luck and auspiciousness in Chinese culture.
Spring Festival is a time for family reunion, at the that time, all family members eat dinner together, the meal is more luxurious than usual.
After the dinner, the whole family will sit together, chatting and watching TV, in recent years, the Spring Festival party broadcast on China both at home and abroad. (CCTV) is essential entertainment for the Chinese both at home and abroad.
Lighting Firecrackers used to be one of the most important customs in the Spring Festival celebration. People in small towns and rural areas still hold to this traditional celebration.
Right as the clock strike 12 o’ clock midnight of New Year’s Eve, towns lit up with the glitter from fireworks, and kids with firecrackers in one hand and a lighter in another cheerful light their happiness in this especial occasion, even though they plug their ears.
On the first days of the New Year or shortly thereafter, everybody wears new clothes and greets relatives and friends with bows and Gongxi (congratulations), wishing each other good luck, happiness during the new year.
It is money given to kids from their parents and grandparents as New Year gift. The money is believed to bring good luck, ward off monsters, hence the name ‘lucky money’.
Parents and grandparents first put money in small, especially-made red envelopes and give the red envelopes to their kids after the New Year’s Feast or when they come to visit them on the New Year, they choose to put the money in the red envelopes because Chinese people think red is a lucky color.
They want to give their children both lucky gift money and lucky color .
The lively atmosphere not only fills every household, but permeates to streets and lanes, a series of activities such as lion dancing, dragon lantern dancing, lantern festivals and temple fairs will be held for days. The Spring Festival then comes to an end when the Lantern Festival is finished.