2020 Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year, known as the Spring Festival in China, is the most solemn and lively traditional festival among Chinese people.

As the name suggests the Spring Festival marks the start of Spring, when everything starts reviving, vegetation is renewing, and a new season of sowing and harvesting is beginning.
People have just suffered from the long winter when the grass and trees have withered in the snow, and they are looking forward to the blooming days of spring.

The Spring Festival is also known as “NIAN”. In past legends, Nian was an imaginary animal that brought bad luck to people. When Nian came, the trees withered, and grass did not grow. When Nian left, everything grew, and flowers were everywhere. How can the Nian pass? Fireworks are needed to explode, so much like New Year in the UK, fireworks are a big tradition in China. Having said this, many big cities have given up the custom of setting off fireworks in order to protect the environment.

Before the festival, people are busy shopping, and families choose a large red spring couplet which they put on their door to bring joy to the festival, people will also commonly place blessings on their house. The word “Fu” means good fortune and good luck, which represents people’s yearning for a happy life and wishes for a better future. In order to reflect this message more fully, people will often decorate their house with the word “Fu” placed upside down, this means “happiness has arrived”. Many people will also place colourful New Year pictures and decorations on their windows, as well as hanging red lanterns on their front door. The purpose of this is so that people can add their own
personal touch to the atmosphere of the festival.

The Spring Festival is also a time for family reunion. The night before the Spring Festival is Festival eve, also known as reunion night, those who are away from home will often travel back from thousands of miles. The whole family will sit together to make dumplings for the Spring Festival, the dumplings are shaped like gold ingots, with the auspicious meaning of “fortune into treasure”. Ultimately the whole family are gathered together to enjoy themselves and share the happiness of the family.

The warm atmosphere of the festival is not only permeated in every family, but also spread across the streets and lanes around the country. In some local markets, there are also lion dances, dragon lanterns, performances of fire, flower fairs, temple fairs and other customs. During this period, visitors fill the streets, there will be spectacular event shows up until the fifteenth day, when the Spring Festival is over.

The Spring Festival is the most important festival of the year in China and which is why it can be a very difficult time for Chinese students who are away from home. Recently, more and more British universities and colleges have started to celebrate the Spring Festival celebration, having activities such as charade, making dumplings, paper-cutting, and writing couplets for Chinese students to help them feel the warmth of home. With one week to go before the Spring Festival, let’s look forward to celebrating the Year of
the Mouse!

Posted by:

Weike Ma
Agent Support Coordinator

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