Celebrating Chinese New Year - Introduction

by Tricia Morrissey, Dec 27, 2005 | Destinations: China / Beijing

"Hiss!" and "Pop!" snap the firecrackers! "Boom!" says the drum to the Lion Dancer. Chinese New Year is here! Aunties and uncles have come from the city. Cousins visit from nearby towns. Everyone wants to be together for the celebration.

Long ago, when many families lived on farms, they called Chinese New Year the Spring Festival. With clearer skies and warmer winds came anticipation for what lay ahead. Seeing spring on the way, they would get ready to plant fresh food, hope for a strong, new harvest, and welcome visits from old friends. "Gung hey fat choy!" they would say to each other, "Congratulations and wealth!" or "Xin nian kuai le!", which means "New Year happiness!"

Now the fifteen-day New Year celebration bursts with traditions. Have you seen the Lion Dance or heard the sharp, snapping firecrackers? Have you been given a bright red envelope or a piece of sweet, sugary melon? With a new year, there are so many things to hope for. Maybe new babies will join the family; maybe old grudges will be forgotten. The new year is full of possibilities.


A New Year's Legend
New Year's Traditions
Flowers & Plants
Eating Together
Lion Dance
Tray of Happiness
Red Envelopes
Lantern Festival
Chinese Calligraphy
Chinese Brush Painting