Festivals

Chinese New Year

About Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is a very important holiday in Chinese culture. It lasts for 15 days. It starts on the first day of the lunar year, and ends with the Lantern Festival. Chinese New Year is a time for families to get together. Chinese families will celebrate with lots of food, gifts, and fun.

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The Chinese New Year Market

The Chinese New Year market is an important part of Chinese New year celebrations. The market sells Chinese New Year food, clothing, and decorations. Families will go to the market to buy things for Chinese New Year, such as lanterns, flowers, and lucky foods.

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The Legend of Chinese New Year

Information on Chinese New Year for Teachers

Chinese New Year is a very important holiday in Chinese culture. It spans 15 days. It has unique traditional and customs. In the days prior to Chinese New Year, families will clean their house completely. The purpose of this cleaning is to sweep away the bad luck. This lets people embrace the new start and prosperity that a new lunar year brings. Sweeping and cleaning is not to be done on New Year’s Day, because one does not want to sweep away the good fortune that the New Year brings.

Families will decorate their houses with red banners and scrolls. On these are written auspicious characters and couplets to beckon good fortune. The Chinese people will celebrate a New Year’s Eve reunion dinner. The entire family gets together and celebrates the passing of the lunar year. A variety of dishes will be served. Some dishes are fish, dumplings, shark fin soup and abalone. Most Chinese will have this important dinner at home, with home cooked dishes.

On New Year’s Day, family members will exchange red envelopes. The envelopes contain money and are meant to ward off evil spirits and bad luck. They signify prosperity and good fortune in the year to come. During the course of Chinese New Year, a local market is usually set up. The market sells Chinese New Year goods, foods, and clothing. The things sold at the markets include kumquat trees, which symbolize a wish for prosperity, red lanterns to hang in the house to ward off evil spirits and bad luck, and lucky foods such as year cakes, preserved kumquats, and red melon seeds. Firecrackers are starting to be less popular in bigger cities because they are fire hazards. Some families will still light firecrackers to drive away evil spirits and misfortune. They believe it is important because of the legend of the Nian beast.

On the 15th and final of day Chinese New Year, there is a Lantern Festival. Families walk the streets, under a full moon. They carry lanterns and admire lantern displays. The Lantern Festival marks the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations.

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The Dragon Boat Festival

 

The Duanwu Festival is also known as Dragon Boat Festival. At this time Chinese people honour Qu Yuan. Qu Yuan was a famous poet and politician. He lived 2000 years ago. This is the time of the Chu Dynasty in China. At this time, his country was occupied by the Qin. Qu Yuan wanted to help the Chu people, but the king did not let him. Qu Yuan was heart-broken and jumped into the Miluo River. The citizens of Chu loved Qu Yuan. They raced dragon boats to find him. When they could not find him, they made rice dumplings. They threw the dumplings into the Miluo River to feed the fish. They did not want the fish to eat Qu Yuan.
Today we still make dumplings and race dragon boats. The honour of Qu Yuan has continued for two thousand years. Every year on the fifth of May according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, people race dragon boats and eat rice dumplings This is Mystery of the Duanwu Festival.