8 Ways to Celebrate Chinese New Year
By Kah Joon Liow
What are the Chinese New Year activities for celebrating
this most important festival in the Chinese calendar?
Let's start at the beginning...
In China, Chinese New Year is called the Spring Festival.
That's because the first day of Chinese New Year falls on
the start of spring.
The beginning of spring is a fresh start"
It's the start of a new year of sowing and reaping.
A wish for a good harvest in the year ahead.
(That's how the Chinese character for "year" nian2 年 came
A cause for celebration!
All around the world, Chinese families...
put up Chinese New Year scrolls on both sides of the door,
set off firecrackers (It's illegal in many Chinese cities
now, but people do it anyway)
and married adults give children red envelopes filled with
Chinese New Year activities begin 2-4 weeks before the "big
Here's what you can do to celebrate Chinese New Year.
It's what Chinese families do all over the world.
1. Clean up the house
Select a day and together with the family, clean up the
This ritual gets rid of bad luck in the ending year and
welcomes in good luck in the new year.
2. Send greeting cards
Send greeting cards with new year wishes to friends,
relatives and colleagues.
Remember to post your greeting cards early!
3. Go shopping
Go shopping to buy new clothes for the whole family, food
and sweets, and festive home decorations.
Looking for Chinese New Year activities for kids? Go to
4. Get ready some red packets.
You'll need them later.
5. Decorate the house
Hang Chinese New Year scrolls called spring couplets on both
sides of the door to usher in good wishes for the new year.
Paste paper cuts of upside down good fotune "fu" characters,
happy children and tangerine oranges on the wall.
Make sure you have vases of flowers in the house during
Chinese New Year.
They do more than just add a new year atmosphere to the
Living plants symbolize growth and flowers represent wealth
Pum blossoms can be arranged together with bamboo and pine.
They stand for endurance, nobility and longevity.
Other favorite flowers are pussy willow, azalea, peony and
water lily or narcissus.
6. Prepare the reunion dinner
Gather your family together for this most important and
sumptuous meal of the year on Chinese New Year's eve.
Prepare a meal with auspicious dishes like chicken, fish,
oysters, dumplings, green vegetables and noodles.
They have meanings of prosperity, longevity and abundance.
I've put together some Chinese New Year recipes and a list
of what different foods symbolize at http://www.living-chinese-symbols.com/chinese-new-year-activities.html
7. Pass the year
After a hearty meal, stay up late to "pass the year guo4
nian2 过年, an ancient tradition.
You can watch TV, play card games, or chat.
After midnight (or on the morning of Chinese New Year's
day), give your children the red envelopes filled with money
(called "lucky money").
Put the red packets under the pillow of children. This is
said to ward off evil.
8. Send New Year greetings
Call up friends or SMS them on the morning of Chinese New
Year and wish them Happy New Year, Good Health and
Visit the homes of friends and relatives with two big
Bring red packets to give to the children at the homes
These are eight ways to have a roaring Chinese New Year
celebration with family and friends!
Eight is the most auspicious number for Chinese people.
It means wealthy and properous.
Here's to your good health and prosperity in the New Year!
About The Author
Kah Joon Liow
Want to discover the culture of Chinese symbols
and characters and enhance your life? LIOW Kah Joon is your
guide. Read his Chinese New Year Special and sign up
for his free Chinese Symbols ezine at http://www.living-chinese-symbols.com.