New Year is a big day to people all around the world. What’s the New Year like in China? How much do you know about Chinese New Year?
Traditional Chinese New Year is not what we call “New Year”. In China, it’s called “春节 (chūn jié)” or the Spring Festival. Spring Festival to Chinese is what Christmas to the West.
When is Chinese New Year?
The 1st day of the 1st month in Chinese lunar calendar [中国农历， zhōnɡ ɡuó nónɡ lì]] is the Chinese New Year. It can be any day in January or February.
Chinese New Year Paintings
- The Fortune Character 福 fú. The Chinese character Fu means “fortune”.
- 鱼 [yú, fish], symbol of wealth
- 门神 [mén shén, Gods of Gate], symbol of safety and protection
- 春联 [chūn lián, Spring Festival Couplets]
Pasting couplets expresses people’s delight in the festival and wishes for a better life in the coming year.
- 财神 [cái shén, The God of Wealth]
Traditional Chinese New Year Foods
腊八粥 [là bā zhōu, La-ba Porridge]
“La-ba” means the 8th of the last month in Chinese Lunar Calendar. 腊八粥 is made of rice, peanuts, red bean, mung beans, lotus seeds etc.
饺子 [jiǎo zi, Dumpling Dumplings]
It is one of the most important Chinese New Year foods. It should be had on the three dates during the whole New Year period.
团圆饭 [tuán yuán fàn, Chinese New Year Eve Reunion Dinner]
The Reunion Dinner is each year’s most important dinner of the family. All family members will try to come together for this dinner.
年糕 [nián ɡāo, Year Cake]
Having this food is to bless that each year’s life gets higher or better.
汤圆 [tān yuán,ɡ Rice Glue Ball]
Its name “Tang-yuan” in Chinese has similar pronunciation as the word for “reunion”, so having this food connotes the blessing of reunion.