How Chinese People Celebrate the Chinese Lunar Year of the Ram festival
On “大年三十(dànián sānshí) or Chinese Lunar New Year’s Eve” which falls on the 18th of February 2015. This been the last day of the lunar year, which is also one of China’s most important traditional holidays.
And Legend has it that a long time ago, during the age of great floods, there was a vicious monster named “年(nián) year.” Whenever the thirtieth day of the last lunar month arrived, this monster would rise up out of the sea to kill people and to wreak havoc on their fields and gardens. The people would bar their doors before dark and sit up all night, coming out the next day to greet their neighbors and rejoice for having survived.
However, today’s Chinese people still celebrate this old Lunar New Year’s Eve legend with a number of traditional activities.
Eating a Big Family Meal:
On Lunar New Year’s Eve, a huge feast is served. The New Year’s Eve dinner is the most important dinner for the Chinese. Normally, this is the family reunion dinner, especially for those with family members who live away from home. On that day, nearly everyone returns home for it. For some families, it is the most important time of the year, and perhaps, the only time that the entire family will be together.
Normally fish will be served, because “鱼(yú) fish” sounds like “余(yú) surplus.” Leaving a little extra fish on the plate is customary as it symbolizes that there will be enough for the family in the coming year. The family is careful not to break the bones of the fish as this could bring bad luck. Hard liquor is also present at the dinner because “酒(jiǔ) white wine” sounds like “久(jiǔ) longevity.” Dumplings are the most important dish in Northern China. Other dishes like meat, fish, and vegetables are dependent on personal preference. The majority of Chinese will have New Year’s Eve dinner at home instead of in a restaurant.
Setting Off Fireworks:
Right at midnight on New Year’s Eve, fireworks of all shapes and sizes are set off to celebrate the coming of the New Year. It is legend that the ferocious monster “年(nián)” was afraid of the color red and loud noises, so it was believed that the noisy, bright fireworks would scare the monster away. Now, it is believed that the more fireworks and noise there are, the more luck there will be in the New Year. The person to set off the first firework of the New Year will especially obtain good luck.