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It’s time to celebrate the Chinese New Year according to the lunar calendar. Bust out your red and gold outfit, take your red envelopes out, and practice saying “Gung Hey Fat Choy!” But before you actually do some celebrating, you must have a deeper understanding of the occasion.

Chinese New Year is celebrated beginning on the night right before the first day of the lunar year. It ends fifteen days later during which, the Lantern Festival is held. The Chinese New Year or the Spring Festival is a symbol of new beginnings and renewed hope, which is basically the same as how other cultures see the coming of a new year.

If you or someone you know celebrates the Chinese New Year, you should know by now that preparations for the holiday start at least a month before the actual day. If you haven’t had the time to prepare, don’t worry. Below is a quick look at what you can do to celebrate Chinese New Year at the homestead.

 

Decorations

One of the first things you’ll notice as the Chinese New Year approaches is the sea of red. The Chinese believe that the color red, which symbolizes fire, can keep bad luck away. It also stands for happiness. The gold, meanwhile, symbolizes power.

Among the most popular decorations during Chinese New Year is the red lantern. Everywhere you look, you’ll likely see red lanterns hanging somewhere. Turn your homestead into a haven of Chinese tradition by incorporating more red and gold.

 

Food

As with most holidays, food is an integral part of Chinese New Year celebration. The Chinese commemorates the holiday by preparing and serving food. They don’t serve just any kind of food. Everything you see on the table of a Chinese family stands for something. The egg rolls, bamboo shoots, and oranges symbolize wealth while dried bean curd and chicken stand for happiness.

The Chinese also believed that eating Long Life Noodles will help prolong your life. The round vegetables on the noodles, meanwhile, stand for coins. Invite some friends over your homestead to celebrate and partake in your Chinese New Year feast. Don;t forget the desserts. Some of the popular ones you can easily make in your homestead include sticky rice cakes and black sesame rice balls.

 

Gifts

A Chinese New Year celebration is not complete without the gifts. It’s common for people to give out cash as gifts during Chinese New Year. These gifts are kept in red envelopes, which are then given to the recipients. For the children, give them gifts that suit their ages and tastes.

 

Dragons

The dragon is a popular creature that the Chinese see as a symbol of authority. They also bring wealth and good fortune. That’s why you can see dragons on the robes of the Imperial family.

 

Kitchen God

Tsao Chün, aka the Kitchen God, goes to heaven on the 24th day of the 12th Lunar month. His mission is to tell the Jade Emperor about the way members of a household have been behaving. The report will determine the fortunes of each member in the next year.

It’s been the tradition for families to burn incense on this day as an offering to the Kitchen or Stove God. Others put honey and sugar on his mouth with the belief that this may sway the Kitchen God to tell only sweet things about them. His photo is replaced on the 4th day of the Chinese New Year during which he is supposed to return from his meeting with the Jade Emperor.

 

If you have suggestions on how we can celebrate the Chinese New Year, please comment below. You can also check out The Gentleman Pirate for more posts on what would be a great gift to give during this occasion.

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