Friday, January 16, 2009

The Chinese Spring Festival is coming


Jan 26, it’s a big day for all Chinese people. That’s the traditional holiday --- the Spring Festival!

Held on the first day of each year of the lunar calendar and lasting for weeks, the spring festival is regarded by the Chinese people as the grandest and most important annual festival, similar to Christmas Day for Europeans and Americans. Originating during the Shang Dynasty (16th - 11th century BC), Spring Festival, which celebrates family reunion, is full of rich and colorful activities, and new hopes for health, treasure and good luck. People from different regions and different ethnic groups celebrate it in their unique ways.

The spring festival is very interesting, people do a lot of preparations and colorful activities are held. Such as:

1. House decoration --- Nearly a week before the Spring Festival, every family does a thorough house cleaning. People often buy some Red scrolls with complementary poetic couplets, one line on each side of the gate, are pasted at every gate. The Chinese character 'Fu' is pasted on the center of the door and paper-cut pictures adorn windows. 'Fu' in Chinese means 'Good Luck' or 'Happiness', by pasting this character on the center of the door, people show great hope to be happy. Nowadays, people like to paste it backward, for this means 'Fu' has come. Paper-cut is a famous Chinese traditional craft. During Spring Festival, people paste favorite paper cuts on windows not only for decoration and appreciation but also for delivering hope.

2. Prepare food and clothes --- they purchase enough food, including fish, meat, roasted nuts and seeds, all kinds of candies and fruits, etc, for the festival period. People from different regions may prepare different food, such as jiaozi in north China and niangao (a kind of sticky rice cake) in the south are the indispensable foods. Also, new clothes must be bought, especially for children.

3. Spring Festival’s Eve --- On New Year's Eve, no matter where he is, every member will try his best to come back to enjoy the family reunion feast. Family members chat or watch special TV programs all night. To show respect for their ancestors, some families burn incense and prepare delicious food at home.

4. Setting Firecrackers and Fireworks --- Regarded as the most exciting event, especially to children during the festival, setting firecrackers means biding farewell to the past year and welcoming the New Year. Fireworks have been popular for over 2,000 years, and have become a festival essential. When the clock announces the New Year, numerous households set off fireworks at almost the same time, creating a thunderous sound. Various multicolored fireworks are also displayed by official organizations. Today fireworks have become an indispensable part of celebrating grand festivals, of marriage, even of opening a new shop.

5. Paying New Year Visits --- Paying New Year visits is a special way for people to express good wishes to each other. On the first day of Spring Festival, wearing their new clothes, people visit relatives and friends to extend New Year's greetings and invite them to visit. Next, people begin to visit their distant relatives. In cities and suburbs, colorful activities include Temple Fairs, Yangge dancing, and lion and dragon dancing.

The Spring Festival lasts until the Lantern Festival begins fifteen days later marking the end of the Chinese New Year. It is celebrated by Chinese people at home and abroad. Everyone immerses in the festive atmosphere, and exchanges wishes for a good harvest year.

1 评论:

obamacenter said...

Goodluck for new member...

Keep going and smile for you....