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8 Ways to Celebrate Chinese New Year

By Kah Joon Liow

What are the Chinese New Year activities for celebrating

this most important festival in the Chinese calendar?

Let's start at the beginning...

In China, Chinese New Year is called the Spring Festival.

That's because the first day of Chinese New Year falls on

the start of spring.

The beginning of spring is a fresh start"

It's the start of a new year of sowing and reaping.

A wish for a good harvest in the year ahead.

(That's how the Chinese character for "year" nian2 年 came


A cause for celebration!

All around the world, Chinese families...

put up Chinese New Year scrolls on both sides of the door,

set off firecrackers (It's illegal in many Chinese cities

now, but people do it anyway)

and married adults give children red envelopes filled with

"lucky money".

Chinese New Year activities begin 2-4 weeks before the "big


Here's what you can do to celebrate Chinese New Year.

It's what Chinese families do all over the world.

1. Clean up the house

Select a day and together with the family, clean up the


This ritual gets rid of bad luck in the ending year and

welcomes in good luck in the new year.

2. Send greeting cards

Send greeting cards with new year wishes to friends,

relatives and colleagues.

Remember to post your greeting cards early!

3. Go shopping

Go shopping to buy new clothes for the whole family, food

and sweets, and festive home decorations.

Looking for Chinese New Year activities for kids? Go to

4. Get ready some red packets.

You'll need them later.

5. Decorate the house

Hang Chinese New Year scrolls called spring couplets on both

sides of the door to usher in good wishes for the new year.

Paste paper cuts of upside down good fotune "fu" characters,

happy children and tangerine oranges on the wall.

Make sure you have vases of flowers in the house during

Chinese New Year.

They do more than just add a new year atmosphere to the


Living plants symbolize growth and flowers represent wealth

and prosperity.

Pum blossoms can be arranged together with bamboo and pine.

They stand for endurance, nobility and longevity.

Other favorite flowers are pussy willow, azalea, peony and

water lily or narcissus.

6. Prepare the reunion dinner

Gather your family together for this most important and

sumptuous meal of the year on Chinese New Year's eve.

Prepare a meal with auspicious dishes like chicken, fish,

oysters, dumplings, green vegetables and noodles.

They have meanings of prosperity, longevity and abundance.

I've put together some Chinese New Year recipes and a list

of what different foods symbolize at

7. Pass the year

After a hearty meal, stay up late to "pass the year guo4

nian2 过年, an ancient tradition.

You can watch TV, play card games, or chat.

After midnight (or on the morning of Chinese New Year's

day), give your children the red envelopes filled with money

(called "lucky money").

Put the red packets under the pillow of children. This is

said to ward off evil.

8. Send New Year greetings

Call up friends or SMS them on the morning of Chinese New

Year and wish them Happy New Year, Good Health and


Visit the homes of friends and relatives with two big


Bring red packets to give to the children at the homes

you're visiting.

These are eight ways to have a roaring Chinese New Year

celebration with family and friends!

Eight is the most auspicious number for Chinese people.

It means wealthy and properous.

Here's to your good health and prosperity in the New Year!

About The Author

Kah Joon Liow

Want to discover the culture of Chinese symbols

and characters and enhance your life? LIOW Kah Joon is your

guide. Read his Chinese New Year Special and sign up

for his free Chinese Symbols ezine at

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