Chinese new year is on Saturday, January 28 (The year of Rooster)
The Chinese New Year usually happens between late January and mid-February depending upon the position of the new moon for that time of the year. It is also known as the Spring Festival, as it indicates the end of winter. The festival continues for 15 days and ends with the Lantern Festival on the final day.
According to Chinese calendar, New Year 2017 falls on Saturday, January 28, 2017. The year 2017 is known as the Year of the Rooster.
|Future Chinese New Year dates:|
|2013 - Feb 10 - Snake|
|2014 - Jan 31 - Horse|
|2015 - Feb 19 - Sheep|
|2016 - Feb 08 - Monkey|
|2017 - Jan 28 - Rooster|
Here’s how the festival is observed by the Chinese.
On the days prior to New Year, the Chinese make sure they clean and adorn their homes. On the eighth day prior to the celebration, they rustle up a traditional porridge recipe
The Chinese New Year’s Eve is observed with a special dinner including chicken and fish. The Chinese also eat dumplings at midnight.
In South China, people follow the tradition of baking a New Year cake known as “Niangao” and gifting it to friends and family.
On New Year’s Eve, the Chinese visit temples, light the incense stick, and offer their prayers with the hope of a brighter tomorrow. They also light firecrackers to get rid of evil spirits.
On the 1st day of the New Year festival, the Chinese avoid eating meat, as they believe it will increase their longevity. They light fires and perform lion dances.
The elder members of the family offer gifts of money in red envelopes to the junior members. Red color is a sign of good luck and fortune in Chinese culture.
A special highlight of the celebrations on this day is the use of fireworks and firecrackers.
The 2nd day of this festival is known as God of Wealth’s birthday. Business organizations hold a “Hoi Nin” prayer to start a venture, as they believe that they will be blessed with good luck and fortune.
The third day of Chinese New Year Festival is called ‘chi kou’. This is the day when people organize family gatherings and visit temples. It is considered to be an auspicious day to learn about one’s future.
On the fourth day of the Spring Festival in China, corporate spring dinners are organized
People eat traditional Chinese dumplings or Jiaozi on the fifth day of their New Year festival. Display of fireworks is an important feature of the celebrations on this day.
On this day, business houses re-open after they shoot off firecrackers.
The seventh day of Chinese Spring Festival is known as “Renri” which means the common man’s birthday.
The Chinese communities in Malaysia and Singapore eat tossed raw fish and yusheng as a sign of growing wealth and success. The Chinese Buddhists don’t eat meat on this day, as they observe it as the birth anniversary of Sakra, Lord of the Buddhist devas.
A family dinner is organized on this day. Everyone is expected to get back to work by the eighth day of the New Year festival. Store owners host a dinner for their employees, thus expressing their gratitude for their hard work throughout the year.
This is the day when the Chinese offer prayers in honor of the Jade Emperor of Heaven in observance of his birthday.
Certain offerings are made with the prayers, especially by the Hokkien community. The key item offered is sugarcane.
The celebration of the birth anniversary of the Jade Emperor of Heaven continues on the tenth day of the Chinese New Year festival.
There are no prominent festivities on the eleventh and twelfth days of the New Year celebration in China.
The Chinese dedicate this day to their God of war and the most famous General in China, Guan Yu. Everyone offers their prayers to Guan Yu on this day.
He is regarded as the symbol of wealth and success. Hence, business houses also conduct prayers in honor of Guan Yu.
The last two days of the New Year Festival in China are spent in making preparations for the Lantern Festival which is celebrated on the fifteenth day.
Some of the dishes that people include in their feasts during the New Year celebrations are:
This dish comprises glutinous rice, sweet red bean paste, almonds, walnuts, and colored dry fruits.
It is a sweet wine-rice soup that has small gummy rice balls dipped into it.
It is a black sesame rice ball soup.
This is a small and sweet round cake made of coarsely ground rice.
As part of their New Year celebrations, the Chinese also cook a sweet soup made of cut-up fruits added to hot water that is combined with cornstarch or a thickening agent.
They also have dishes made of chicken, pork, duck, and fish.
This is how the Chinese observe their New Year by following their traditions with a lot of enthusiasm.