Week 6 – The Lunar New Year
According to the lunar calendar, today is the last day of the year of the Dragon in 2012, and tomorrow begins the year of the Snake in 2013. The first day of the Lunar New Year is the welcoming of the gods of the heavens and earth. So, people will refrain from eating meat on the first day of the New Year because it is believed that this will ensure longevity and happiness. On the second day, people will pray. Normally, they pray for ancestors and to all the gods. The third and fourth days are the days in which sons-in-laws pay respect to their parents-in-laws. On the fifth day, people stay home to welcome God of Wealth. No one visits families and friends on the fifth day because it is said that it will bring both parties bad luck. On the sixth to the last day of the Spring Festival (the 10th day), people visit relatives and friends freely. Also, they will visit temples to pray for good fortune and health. Moreover, according to tradition the seventh day of the New Year is the day for farmers to display their produce. Farmers collect seven types of vegetables to make a special drink to celebrate the occasion. Also, the seventh day is also known as the birthday of human beings. It is believed that eating noodles on this day will ensure longevity and eating raw fish for success.
The things listed above are only part of the traditions of the Spring Festival. There are so many other details which I haven’t described them here, like giving and receiving lucky red pocket money, burning firecrackers and fireworks, family gathering, playing lanterns, put money under the bed, pillow, kitchen, lion dances, lucky words, lucky dessert, new clothes, new shoes, color to wear, color not to wear, words to say and words not to say, etc etc…
Although it sounds that the to-do and not-to-do list set for people to follow in the Spring Festival is endless and a bit “tiring”, however, I don’t see many people here are following strictly to all of those details.
To me, the things that make me really happy and enjoy to do during Spring Festival is that I can receive lucky red pocket money, no need to go to work for a few days, and to hang out with friends and family.
Happy Lunar New Year, everyone!
P.S.: I’m traveling to Beijing to spend the Lunar New Year and Valentines Day!