Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is the most important holiday to all Chinese around the world. It is a Chinese festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar. The festival is usually referred to as the Spring Festival in mainland China, and is one of several Lunar New Years in Asia.
10 Things to know about Chinese New Year
1. Reunion Dinner
Reunion Dinner was held on the eve of Chinese New Year (known as ‘ChuXi”). It is the most important get-together meal of the entire year. Usually, all sons will return to their parental homes for this reunion dinner while married daughters will join their husband’s families for the reunion dinner. This reunion dinner is very important as it is known as “tuanyuan”, family members will gather together, and those who are living away from home will also come back for the reunion dinner. It is a symbol of unity of a family.
2. Red Color
Red, corresponding with fire, symbolizes good fortune and joy. Therefore, Red is found everywhere during Chinese New Year. Usually, Chinese will hang red lanterns outside their doors to ward off bad luck. They will also stick red cutout papers on the wall as decorations. Everything will be in RED during Chinese New Year.
3. Ang Pow
Ang Pow? It is a must during Chinese New Year. One of the most popular traditions of Chinese New Year is the giving and receiving of small red packets containing money, called Ang Pow.
This red packets, Ang Pow symbolises good luck and is believed to ward off evil spirits. It is a way of giving best wishes to others. However, this Ang Pow is only given by married couples to unmarried people.
Thinking of what to give employees or colleagues instead of Ang Pow during Chinese New Year? Yeah, Here is a solution for you. You can give reward points to employees or between colleagues as a best wishes to them on the Chinese New Year. You can easily do this through the EasyWork app reward system. The reward system in EasyWork is fun, and just like playing games. Let’s utilize this app and enjoy the Chinese New Year atmosphere in the office environment.
Firecrackers were also one of traditional Chinese culture. Originally, firecrackers were used to scare away evil spirits. As the legend goes, a monster named “Nian” would come out to eat villagers and destroy their houses on each New Year’s Eve. Villagers were afraid of “Nian” and slowly they discovered that burning bamboo to produce an explosive sound can scare away the monster “Nian”. Since then, firecrackers have always been burned during Chinese New Year.
Traditional Red and Gold CheongSams are popular during Chinese New Year. It is a traditional Chinese dress. Nowadays, many Malaysian women will wear it, including non-Chinese, they will also wear the garment to parties and events.
6. Lion Dance
Dragon dances and lion dances are traditional performances for joyous festivals to enhance this festive atmosphere. It brings joys and happiness. This performance is loved by everyone, especially elder people. It is traditionally believed that performing dragon or lion dances (during Chinese New Year) is a way to pray for good luck and drive away evil spirits. Some companies will have lion dance performances in the office during Chinese New Year to enhance the Chinese New Year atmosphere, and also pray for more prosperity and good fortune for the entire year.
In terms of food, one dish that you will definitely think of during Chinese New Year celebration is Yee Sang. It is known as Prosperity Toss, it is a Teochew-style raw fish salad that is believed to bring good health and wealth for the upcoming year. It is a dish with raw fish and a salad that includes shredded carrots, radish, ginger, spring onions, red chilli, lemon leaves, pickled leeks, crispy fried biscuits, pounded peanuts, lime, cinnamon powder, salt, pepper and vinegar. This Yee Sang is usually served on the 7th day of the Lunar Chinese New Year.
8. Mandarin Orange
Visits to homes during Chinese New Year are usually accompanied by the exchange of Mandarin oranges. The Chinese words for orange is “kam” sound similar to the word for “gold”. So, having mandarin oranges around the home at Chinese New Year is said to bring riches into your life.
REMEMBER! A pair (or pairs) of oranges should be presented to the head of the household when visiting someone. They will then return this gesture during the festive period. It is considered rude to visit anyone’s home during Chinese New Year with empty handed.
9. 15days of Celebration
The Chinese New Year usually 15 days, however, some will start the celebration from Chinese New Year’s Eve to the 15th day of Chinese New Year (make it to 16 days).
-First Day of Chinese New Year
The first day of the New Year is known as “yuandan”. The children pay their respects to their parents and elders, and in return, receive their blessings. “Ang Pow” are given by parents to their children, as well as elders to those who are unmarried and younger than them. The first of 15 days of the Lunar New Year are set aside for visiting, with close and senior family members visited on the first day.
-Second Day of Chinese New Year
Known as “thoe ya”, the God of Wealth is welcomed through the display of auspicious pictures to “attract wealth and draw in treasures” during this period. The second day is also traditionally a time for married women to visit their maiden homes and renew ties with their families.
-Third Day of Chinese New Year
Known as the “Loyal Dog Day”, the third day is a day of rest. No visits are made nor are visitors received, as it is believed that evil spirits roam the earth this day and being outdoors would invite bad luck.
-Seventh Day of Chinese New Year
In Malaysia, YeeSang is served during the seventh day
-Ninth day of Chinese New Year
The birthday of the Jade Emperor falls on the ninth day of the first lunar month. The Jade Emperor is believed to be the God of Heaven and is said to have been born several millennia before the current era.
-Fifteenth day of Chinese New Year
The 15th day marks the first full moon of the new year. It is known as “Yuan Xiao Jie”, meaning “first night of the full moon” (Hokkiens call it “chap goh mei”, meaning 15th night). In Malaysia, chap goh mei is also a day where single ladies wishing for husbands throw oranges, red dates and longans into the river or sea.
10. Chinese New Year Taboos
There are a number of Chinese New Year’s superstitions and taboos during the Chinese New Year.
Have a look on these taboos and avoid this during Chinese New Year: https://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/festivals/chinese-new-year-taboos.htm
Have you found out? From red lanterns to Chinese New Year traditional dress to red packets (Ang Pow) and many more, everything is in Red on Chinese New Year. This is because of the Legend story, a monster named “Nian”, who is a ferocious beast that would terrorize villagers on the Chinese New Year Eve, eating crops, livestock, and even children. After some time, villagers learned that this “Nian” has something that can scare him away. He was afraid of three things which are fire, noise, and red color. Finally, villagers successfully defeated “Nian” away. From then on, the color red was considered to bring good luck and good fortune to everyone.
Do you understand more about Chinese New Year cultures and traditions now?
EasyWork wishes a joyful and prosperous Chinese New Year to all of you. Enjoy and celebrate this festival with your loved one.
Happy Chinese New Year! Gong Xi Fa Cai!