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Traditional Spring Festival customs

来源 作者: 2016-02-03 16:30:31

  Chinese people are supposed to stay up the whole night on the 30th day of the 12th month in the Lunar Calendar

  In Chinese mythology, a monster called nian would come out to harm people on New Year's Eve, so people get together, staying up and chatting, hoping for a peaceful passage of time. The custom of staying up (Chinese: shou tai sui) symbolizes the warding off of all diseases and disasters and wishing good luck in the New Year.

  Chinese people attach great importance to the Spring Festival Eve, when all family members eat dinner together.

  The first day of Chinese New Year, also known as the "day of chicken", officially begins at midnight.

  It is traditional to light firecrackers and make as much of a din as possible to chase off the evil monster nian.

  Most importantly the oldest and most senior members are visited with the visits strengthening family kinship.

  Senior members of the family hand out red envelopes containing cash (Chinese: ya sui qian), a form of blessing and to suppress aging and the challenges of the coming year, to junior members of the family, mostly children and teenagers.

  On the second day, married daughters usually go back to their own family to visit parents, relatives and close friends. Traditionally, married daughters didn't have the opportunity to visit their birth families frequently.

  Some believe the second day is also the birthday of all dogs and remember them with special treats.

  On the third day, an old saying goes: "A fat pig at the door", meaning the arrival of good luck and happiness.

  Traditionally, the third day is known as "Chigou's Day". Chigou literally means "red dog", an epithet of "the God of Blazing Wrath", and it is considered an unlucky day to have guests or go visiting.

  Folklore says the 3rd day is also "rat marriage day" (Chinese: lao shu qu qin), so people often go to bed earlier to give rats time for their wedding.

  The old saying "three rams bring bliss" is connected with the fourth day, which says that by making a good beginning a happy end comes.

  According to folklore, it is also the day to welcome back the Kitchen God. On this day, the Kitchen God would check the household and therefore people should not leave home.

  The fifth day is also called the "day of cow". According to Chinese folklore, the first seven days of the 1st lunar month are respectively called "day of chicken", "day of dog", "day of pig", "day of sheep", "day of cow", "day of horse" and "day of man". When creating all living beings on earth, Nu Wa, a goddess in Chinese mythology, created the six creatures before human beings.

  The fifth day is also the God of Fortune's birthday and people will celebrate this day with a large banquet. This day is also commonly known as the Festival of Po Wu, literally breaking five. According to custom, it is believed that many New Year taboos can be broken on this day.

  On the sixth day, people make wishes for "ma dao cheng gong", win success immediately upon arrival.

  According to tradition, families usually send away the Ghost of Poverty on this day. To send away him, Chinese people will usually throw away their ragged clothes, rubbish and other dirty things.

  By doing this Chinese people wish to send away poverty and welcome the beautiful days and good luck in the New Year.

  The seventh day is commonly referred as the "day of man", and in most parts of China people will eat noodles as they symbolize longevity in Chinese culture.

  The eighth day is believed to be the birthday of millet, an important crop in ancient China.

  According to folk proverbs, if this day is bright and clear the year will be a harvest year; however, if this day is cloudy or evenrainy, the year will suffer from poor harvest.

  Meanwhile, people also set free captive animals on this day, with a blessing for all living beings to flourish in the New Year.

Keywords:Spring Festival,customs

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