What Chinese People Do during Spring Festival

After New Year, Chinese people’s most expecting period during the year is coming soon. On Feb 8, 2016, Chinese Spring Festival will be launched. This day is the first day or the New Year in Chinese lunar calendar. Usually it is the nosiest time in the year and Chinese people would celebrate it officially and ceremoniously.

What do current Chinese people usually do during Spring Festival? Are there any activities held nationally? Maybe we can take a look at the traditional Chinese culture.

  1. Spring Festival Couplets: According to a legend, there was a monster called Xi, who always hurt people. Finally it was killed by people on the day of lunar calendar. So the last day is also called “Chu Xi” meaning “Killing Xi”. In the past, people set off the fireworks to keep away the monster Xi and hang on red couplets to scare him. This custom has been kept until now. Modern Chinese people still hang on red Spring Festival Couplets starting from the last day.
  2. 春联Reunion Meal: Like western countries’ Thanks Giving or Christmas, Chinese people usually have a reunion meal on the last day of one year, the day before Spring Festival-New Year’s Eve. The meal can be a lunch or dinner depending on each family’s arrangement. Chicken, fish, beef, mutton, ducks may appear together on the table. Various dishes with fruit, drinks and alcohol are placed on the table for sharing. A family sits around the round table and talks around what has happened during the year. To add more atmospheres, before the dinner or lunch, usually the fireworks are set off. Thus it is very noisy outside. At night, the fireworks make a bright and fabulous sky.
  3. 团圆饭New Year Call: In the first several days of Chinese New Year, people often go out and visit their relatives and friends. In China, people have to buy gifts like fruits, cigarettes and alcohol to send to the hosts. In the past, Chinese people have to kneel down to their parents and elders to show their respect which is named “Bainian” in Chinese. In modern times the etiquette is always omitted.
  4. 拜年Red Packets: In Chinese culture, people growing old are seen as an unfavorable thing. The seniors usually send the red packets containing money to the young people especially the children. This is called “Yasuiqian” which means using money to keep you safe and away from the evil. The red packets are usually sent when the children are making New Year call to the hosts. The host give away the red envelops with money inside and send wishes to the children with better studies or jobs.
  5. 红包
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