Chinese New Year traditions you may not know…

Chinese New Year traditions you may not know…

Most Chinese people think they know everything there is to know about Chinese New Year, since they have celebrated it so many times in their lives. Other Chinese may not know much about the traditions or the festivities. Regardless, here are some fun facts and traditions about the very auspicious celebration that is all about the red!

chinese new year traditions, cny 2014

Yes, it’s that time of year—malls have taken down all Christmas decorations and have replaced everything with overtly red ornaments. That’s not all; tell us who isn’t enthused with the blasting Chinese New Year music? Gong Xi…Gong Xi…Gong Xi Ni ahh! 

We will spare you the house cleaning traditions because you have probably read all about it before. Just do NOT sweep the floors on the first day of Chinese New Year if you want to retain luck and prosperity.

Read on for several interesting facts that you may not have known about Chinese New Year.

The oldest calendar known

Did you know that the Chinese calendar is the oldest known calendar dating back to 2600 B.C? And it takes 60 years to complete a cycle of the Chinese calendar. OK, that was not really useful info but it is good trivia to know—just to impress your non-Chinese friends.

chinese new year traditions, chinese new year 2015

No crying on Chinese New Year, please…

No-crying tradition

Never cry on New Year’s Day, unless you want to cry all year long. You know what this means right? It means that your kid(s) can do whatever they want to get on your nerves and you still should not spank them. Most Chinese parents refrain from punishing their kids because they don’t really want their kids to be crying for the rest of the year, or so they believe.

 

Sweet-lipped God

chinese new year traditions, chinese new year 2015

Chinese New Year will not be complete without the buzz of fire crackers.

Chinese people hold the Kitchen God with very high regard, also known as Zao Jun. He is the most highly worshipped God for those who want to protect their household and family. The Kitchen God’ s duty is to inform the chief spirits (Jade Emperor) of the family’s behaviour over the past year.

The household would burn a paper effigy of the Kitchen God at the end of the lunar year, in order for the god to ascend to heaven to see the Jade Emperor to deliver the report. Before the burning of the effigy, the family would smear honey on the Kitchen God’s lips/mouth to sweeten his words or to keep his lips stuck together due to the stickiness. Firecrackers are used as it’s believed to speed up Zao Jun’s journey into the heavens.

Auspicious foods

chinese new year traditions, chinese new year 2015

What is the significance of mandarin oranges during Chinese New Year?

Chinese people love their food and also to place an emphasis on the symbolic meaning behind food-stuff. It can be related to pronunciation of the food name, the colour, the double meaning that some edible items represent, plus a variety of other reasons.

A number of food items that represents wealth are: bamboo shoots, blackmoss seaweed and egg rolls. Chicken symbolizes happiness and marriage, eggs represents fertility; fish when served whole means prosperity and abundance—it is also believed to aid your wishes to come true.

Mandarin oranges are symbolic of gold and wealth and luck, that is why everybody loves exchanging mandarin oranges. Lychee nuts means close family ties and the pomelo represents abundance, prosperity and having kids. But really, we can write a book when it comes to Chinese food symbolisms, so we will stop here…

Happy Chinese New Year!

We would like to wish you, our dear readers,a great festive celebration with loads of prosperity coming your way…have a good one.

 

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Written by

Felicia Chin

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