Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival, is China's most important traditional festival. It is also the most important celebration for families, and a week of official public holiday.
Since China is an extremely big country, different parts of it have different traditions when it comes to Chinese New Year.
These are the most typical ones that can easily be found across the country:
New Year's Eve Dinner
New Year's Eve Dinner is the most important dinner for the Chinese. Normally, this is the family reunion dinner, especially for those families whose members live away from home. During the dinner, fish is usually served; dumplings are also very common, especially in Northern China. These two dishes signify prosperity. The majority of Chinese have New Year's Eve dinner at home instead of a restaurant.
Fireworks are used to drive away the evil in China. Right after midnight on New Year's Eve, fireworks are launched to celebrate the coming of the New Year as well as to push away the evil. It is believed that the person who launches the first firework of the year will have good luck for the rest of the year.
The Red Packet is a red envelope which contains money, which can range from one to a few thousand Chinese Yuan. Usually the red racket is given by adults, especially married couples and elderly, to young children. It is believed that the money in the red packet will keep the evil away from children and give them a long and healthy life.
New Year Markets
During Chinese New Year, temporary markets are usually set up to sell New Year goods, such as clothing, fireworks, decorations, food, and small traditional objects. The markets are usually decorated with red lanterns.
A few days before Chinese New Year, people do a complete cleaning of their houses and house wares, which symbolises "goodbye to the old, welcome the new". Historically, when bathing wasn't common, people used to take a warm bath to welcome the New Year.
Although some people decorate their houses several days before the Festival, most people do it on New Year's Eve. Houses are decorated with red lanterns, red couplets, New Year paintings, paper cut outs, and door god images. 2017 is the year of the Rooster, so rooster images will appear on decorations.
Swedbrand wishes you all a Happy (Chinese) New Year!! 新年快乐!