Chinese New Year is Coming… It’s the Year of the Tiger!

Chinese New Year

This year’s Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year) starts on February 14, the first day of the first month in the Chinese lunar calendar. Of all traditional Chinese holidays, Chinese New Year is the most important and longest. It is like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year all wrapped into one, so it is also called “Spring Festival” as people celebrate from the Chinese New Year’s Eve (除夕 chú xī, meaning “Year-pass Eve”) until the 15th of the month.

Although regional customs and traditions for celebrating the Chinese New Year may vary, generally speaking, every family cleans the house thoroughly to “sweep away ill-fortune” and to make way for good incoming luck. Red colored paper cuts and couplets with themes of “happiness (福)”, “wealth (财)”, and “longevity (寿)”  are used to decorate doors and windows.

People also spend a lot of money shopping for food, clothing, presents and decorations in hope to have an energetic and fresh start of the New Year. I personally love the Chinese New Year’s Eve the most. On the night, families get together for a big feast dinner. There are all kinds of dishes made from pigs, ducks, and chicken and there are also all kinds of sweet delicacies. Even thinking about the foods makes my mouth water already! After dinner, families watch special TV shows together and later end the night with firecrackers. The next morning children greet their parents by wishing them a healthy and happy new year, and receive money in red paper envelopes (红包). It is the spirit of the Chinese New Year tradition to forget all grudges and sincerely wish peace and happiness for everyone.

2010 Year of the Tiger

The Tiger is associated with good fortune, power, and royalty. The Tiger is viewed with both fear and respect, and therefore their protection and wisdom is sought after. In Chinese culture, the tiger is believed to be the true king of beasts.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 10th, 2010 at 9:16 pm and is filed under Culture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply