On February 5, 2019, Chinese people around the world celebrate the start of the Spring Festival! It is a long holiday for the week. Welcoming the lunar new year with good food and drinks is a tradition.
The most important Chinese celebration early in the year is the Spring Festival. It ushers the start of the lunar new year based on the Chinese calendar. In Singapore, it is celebrated in warm weather. For Asian countries with four seasons, it remains very cold in winter. Spring season is being welcomed. This means that planting and harvests are bountiful. Locals in mainland China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam have grand preparations for this annual occasion.
On this special occasion, food is offered to the gods. They are expected to help make the planting and harvest season abundant. Asian agricultural fields are where the harvest comes from. Fruits and vegetables are distributed to the locals and also exported. Giving respect to ancestors with food offering is a custom. Meat, rice, fruits, and vegetables are placed on a table across the photos of the ancestors. The food is abundant and in different varieties.
Commercial centres prepare a grand fireworks display for the evening. These are very colourful in different forms. Excitement abounds in the revellers who come to participate. It is believed that these fight bad luck and monsters. Midnight on the eve of the Chinese New Year is the ideal time to witness this. Asians who celebrate this occasion stay awake to experience the new year. It is a good feeling to be in a public crowd and count the hours until midnight.
Asian countries that hold a grand celebration for the Spring Festival give it 15 days as a whole. The eve of the Chinese New Year is the start. Usually, one week of festivities is prepared for the locals and tourists to enjoy. The family is regarded as the most important people to be with for this long holiday. Before shops close for the occasion, locals may buy what they need ahead. These include cooking supplies, gifts, snacks, and clothes.
Chinese culture wants the family name extended to the next generation. Single adults may buy a pretentious partner to come home with them. This is a kind of business that may be profitable for the occasion. These people are desperate to show their relatives that they are in a relationship. In China, this practice is acceptable. Not being able to come home is a signal that the person may pretend to be a partner.
It is part of the Chinese custom to give cash gifts to kids in red envelopes on this occasion. Gifts are also exchanged among adults. Putting cash in these envelopes signifies passing on of fortune to the young generation. Chinese bosses may also share rewards to their employees and colleagues. With the presence of the internet, the practice has become a digital red pocket. Group chats may show an image of this wonderful cash envelope.
Part of a sumptuous Chinese New Year meal is the dessert. The “soup ball” or tangyuan signifies a gathering of family and relatives. Rice cake or nian gao brings success to the year. Eating fa gao includes muffins and sponge cakes. Shown in dyed vibrant colours, these symbolise prosperity. Being delicious in nature, have a taste of these mouth-watering desserts. After all, it is meant for this special occasion.
Chinese wear red for their attire and show this colour in decorations. Homes are beautified in red with lanterns. Windows and doors show red papers. New clothes worn on this occasion signifies prosperity. It is regarded as a lucky colour for the Spring Festival. Eating at a Chinese restaurant means seeing a sea of red colour on guests. As a prosperous colour, Chinese people believe that it brings forth good fortune.
Every Chinese new year, an animal represents it. In the Chinese zodiac, there are 12 animals for each month. These include the rat, tiger, dragon, horse, and monkey among others. Also, there are the dog, ox, rabbit, snake, goat, and rooster. The sight of the pig is favourable for 2019. Being associated with an animal for the birth month is special. It has meanings for work, relationship, and health.
Chinese adults who like to drink an alcoholic beverage may indulge in special wine. Games for drinking are popular among Chinese people. Drinking with elder Chinese follows toasting etiquette. A sequence for the toast arranged seats, and proper holding of the wine glass is observed. Since elder Chinese are present, it is important to give respect. Gracing this occasion with drinking of wine is delightful!
These are all customs in bringing prosperity to businesses for the new year. Practising them allows an abundance of blessings.