HapperNewYear2010

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					 Hague Confucius
Institute wishes you
HAPPY SPRING
  FESTIVAL
When is Chinese New Year celebrated?

Chinese New year is celebrated on the
first day of the first month of the Chinese
calendar, which falls on the day of the
second new moon after the day on which
the winter solstice occurs, unless there is
an intercalary eleventh or twelfth month in
the lead-up to the New Year. In this case,
the Chinese New Year falls on the day of
the third new moon after the solstice. The
next time this occurs is in 2022.The New
Year season lasts fifteen days. The first
week is the most important and most often
celebrated with visits to friends and family
as well as greetings of good luck. The
celebrations end on the important and
colourful Lantern Festival on the evening
of the 15th day of the month.
清扫房间 Get rooms cleaned: Before the New Year comes,
the people completely clean the indoors and outdoors of their
homes as well as their clothes, bedclothes and all their
utensils.
除夕夜 New Year’s Eve: The night before the Spring Festival is traditionally
called "New Year's eve". The dinner for the whole family on this day is called
"New Year's Eve Dinner". Every family member is expected to return home
for the dinner. For someone really can't make it, other family members will
put an empty chair by the table and place an empty bowl and chopsticks on
the table, indicating that he (she) is not forgotten.
Traditional food prepared for the Spring Festival varies with customs in
different regions. However, those with auspicious names, meanings or
shapes are favored, such as "New Year Cake" (niangao in Chinese,
means "higher year", suggesting better fortune in the new year, and has
the shape of gold and silver blocks), dumplings, the shape of which is
similar to ingots, suggesting bringing in wealth and treasure, as well as
fish symbolizing amassing fortunes.
饺子 Jiaozi: People in northern China will eat jiaozi, or dumplings, for
breakfast, as they think “jiaozi” in sound means “bidding farewell to the old
and ushering in the new”. Also, the shape of the dumpling is like gold ingot
from ancient China. So people eat them and wish for money and treasure.
年糕 Niangao: Southern Chinese eat niangao (New Year cake made of
glutinous rice flour) on this occasion, because as a homophone, niangao
means “higher and higher, one year after another.” The first five days after the
Spring Festival are a good time for relatives, friends, and classmates as well
as colleagues to exchange greetings, gifts and chat leisurely.
放鞭炮 Burning fireworks: Burning fireworks is the most typical custom on
the Spring Festival. People thought the spluttering sound could help drive
away evil spirits.
大年初一 The first day of the first lunar month:It is regarded as the New
Year of the Chinese - the Spring Festival. It is the most important and
ceremonious traditional festival in China, just as Christmas Day to the
westerners.
                           Happy New Year




拜年 Paying New Year calls: This is an important custom during the Spring
Festival. On lunar New Year's Day, people visit friends and relatives,
exchanging greetings and wishing them a happy new year in auspicious
words. It is a way to ring out the Old Year and ring in the New Year and to
send good wishes to one another.
节日饰品 Festival Decorations: As the Spring Festival approaches,
streets are lightened up with lanterns, flowers and other decorations,
making an atmosphere of new year.
“福”到 FU comes: The
Chinese character “fu”
(meaning blessing or happiness)
is a must. The character put on
paper can be pasted normally
or upside down, for in Chinese
the “reversed fu” is homophonic
with “fu comes“, both being
pronounced as “fudaole.”
What’s more, two big red
lanterns can be raised on both
sides of the front door. Red
paper-cuttings can be seen on
window glass and brightly
colored New Year paintings with
auspicious meanings may be
put on the wall.
春联 Spring Festival couplets: Then
people begin decorating their clean
rooms featuring an atmosphere of
rejoicing and festivity. All the door
panels will be pasted with Spring
Festival couplets (春联 chunlian),
highlighting Chinese calligraphy
with black characters on red paper.
The content varies from house
owners’ wishes for a bright future to
good luck for the New Year. Also,
pictures of the god of doors and
wealth will be posted on front doors
to ward off evil spirits and welcome
peace and abundance.
恭喜发财 Greeting expressions and Gift money: Waking up on New Year,
everybody dresses up. First they extend greetings to their parents. Then each
child and unmarried members of the family will get money as a New Year gift,
wrapped up in red paper.
回娘家 Married daughters
returning to parents' home:
The second day of the
Chinese New Year is
usually for visiting the
family of the wife if a
couple is married. The two
most popular greetings
during the Chiense New
Year celebration season
are (in Mandarin): “恭喜发
财 Gong Xi Fa Cai”, and
“新年快乐 Xin Nian Kuai
Le”. These roughly mean
“Congratulations and be
prosperous (financially)”,
and “Happy New Year”.
舞龙\舞狮、吃元宵 Dragon and lion dancing & Eating sweet dumplings:
The lively atmosphere not only fills every household, but permeates to
streets and lanes. A series of activities such as dragon and lion dancing,
dragon lantern dancing, lantern festivals and temple fairs will be held for
days. People eat sweet dumplings on the Lantern Festival to denote union,
harmony and happiness for the family. The Spring Festival then comes to
an end when the Lantern Festival is finished.

				
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