If you can’t seem to calculate when the Chinese New Year begins take a look at the traditional New Year activities that will give it away for you.
Do you know when the Chinese New Year is? It’s not on the first of January because the Chinese make use of the lunar calendar as part of their tradition. Hence their new year falls on a different date according to the cycle of the moon. Well, if you are having trouble calculating exactly when the Chinese New Year is, then as an alternative you can simply judge by the various range of Chinese New Year activities that take place during that time of the year.
The Chinese New Year is a time when the locals bring back to life the ancient traditions that have been practiced for centuries in China. Although there is no fixed date for the Chinese New Year the activities sure do make it obvious that the New Year is here. The festive spirits are on high during this time of the year and the whole of China is engaged in a hub of activity.
Prosperity and hope for betterment is the tone that resonates off of every block in China. According to the tradition the Chinese will let the past year slip into the silent limbo of the days gone by and look forward to welcoming the New Year on a positive note.
Let the activities begin
The activity begins with the home, to be more precise, home cleaning is the first official New Year activity for all Chinese home owners. This cleaning includes a top to bottom makeover. Out with the old and in with the new. Families purchase new clothes for the celebration days and pay off any pending debts.
They give their homes a makeover that often includes a paint job and pending repair work. The family members get themselves a hair cut and ready themselves up to take on the blessings of the new year to come.
After the house has been thoroughly cleaned the Chinese have a tradition of painting their doors and windows with red paint for the new year. The red color symbolizes good luck and is also taken as an omen to ward off evil.
The hanging of spring couplets at the entrances of houses is another common practice amongst the people. These are actually curls and squares that have been cut out of paper and have certain engravings on them. The engravings are usually some auspicious words or invocations of blessings such as good fortune or springtime etc.
Another customary tradition is the hanging of paper lanterns. This activity is one of the main elements of the festive season. It is always a must to feature the animal of the year in various ways in your homes during the celebration days. The people also fill up their houses with fresh blooms and different flowering plants of the season such as white narcissus and quince branches. These are taken as symbols of health and prosperity.
A strangely unique activity regarding the Chinese New Year is to stay awake the entire night before with the belief that this would grant their parents a long life. A flashing display of fireworks is also part of the customary traditions to conclude the range of Chinese New Year activities.