Chinese New Year
By: Teresa Tu
Chinese people often call the New Year “Spring Festival,” but it is not the official beginning of spring. It is simply the first day of the first month in the lunar calendar. Under the lunar system, the ancient Chinese marked off every 15 days as one solar term calculating the terms according to the positions of the earth and the sun. The Chinese New Year is usually between January and February. February 8th, was Chinese New Year in 2016. This is a very important holiday in China, and people celebrate for 15 days from the new year’s day to Lantern Festival.
On New Year’s Eve, families always get together for dinner and celebrate the new year. People go to bed later than usual. Children receive gifts of money in red envelopes from their parents and grandparents. This money is also called luck money because families hope that their children and entire family will be rich in harvest, happiness, and success. People also set off firecrackers and fireworks on New Year’s Eve and you can hear them pop and bang throughout the whole night.
There are some customs related to the Chinese New Year. Before the New Year, people always clean themselves and buy new clothes. Pasting couplets and paper cutouts are also need to be done before the New Year. During the New Year’s Eve dinner, people always eat all kinds of special foods, such as fish, dumplings, and more. On the first two days of the new year, people then spend time visiting their relatives and friends.