The Chinese have one of the richest and most colourful traditions in the world and one of their most anticipated celebrations is the Chinese New Year.
When is it Celebrated?
Spring festival, or what is more commonly known as the Chinese New Year, is considered to be one of the most important events in China. The celebration is based on the lunar calendar, so that the first day of the lunar year marks the Chinese New Year. Thus, the event falls between late January to early February. The celebration begins on the eve of the lunar New Year and continues on until the fifth day of the lunar calendar’s first month. Next will come the lantern festival. This year, Chinese New Year falls on February 3; the Year of the Rabbit.
Just as in Christian and other religions, faiths and followings, the New Year, whenever it is for you, is the opening of the door to opportunity.
How is it Celebrated?
Generally, the Chinese people prepare for this holiday by making sure everything in their life is in order, or at least under control. By this we mean the house should be clean, rifts or problems in relationships should be resolved, clothes that have been worn should be clean or new, etc. At midnight there are fireworks and firecrackers to greet the coming of the New Year. The belief behind this is that the noise created by the firecrackers will drive away evil spirits.
Please note the elements here. Getting life in order or under control, getting themselves in order or under control, ensuring their relationships are in order or under control. Of course, we all have to accept that life is just not that simple but … intentions and determination to resolve issues are crucial. They a clean and uncluttered mind is an efficient one and we should all strive to be the very best that we can be – within ourselves and within our various relationships. We need to leave behind negative thoughts and have more positive influences in our lives.
What’s in the feasting Menu?
After the festivities, the family will sit down to a feast. A sticky rice pudding called nian gao (or “tikoy”) as well as dumplings are usually present in these feasts. Nian gao is also given to family and friends; the belief behind this is that the stickiness of the nian gao will hold or bind the family together. Also, because of its round shape and sweet taste, it is said to bring good fortune and sweetness to one’s life.
The intentions here are to bring in to their lives good fortune and ‘sweetness’ something we should all aspire towards. Good fortune can take the shape in every positive element in our life. What would be ‘good fortunes’ for you, discounting winning the National Lottery of course? Think about what would enhance your life, personally, professionally, career wise, and leisure time wise, and relationship wise, and then once identified, you can start to plan a route forward to achieve and aspire towards those identified and recognised elements that you desire.
Other Aspects of the Chinese New Year
Houses are decorated with lights and lanterns. Red is a popular colour to wear when ushering in the Chinese New Year. Also, hongbao, or red envelopes that contain money, are given to family and friends (especially the youngsters) as a symbol of luck and wealth. There are also lots of musical performances and parades; the most famous of which is the dragon and lion dance. In the Chinese culture, the dragon is the deity of water ensuring that no drought will come. The lion, on the other hand, helps ward off evil spirits since it symbolises power and courage.
Good luck, superstitions, icons, symbology, astrology, numerology along with many other tools/Implements, are important in so many peoples lives and so too within Chinese culture (which predates our own cultures by thousands of years). Whatever makes you feel good, whatever makes you feel safe or confident, is good and we will never say they don’t have a place in society and in personal lives. So use them, use them to effect, use them to bring confidence to yourself and start the process of mapping and planning your route to a far better year this coming year. If there is ANYTHING we can do to help then please, just get in touch.
Have a wonderful, happy, healthy and successful year.