Happy Chinese New Year: 15 Days of Celebration

Happy Chinese New Year: 15 Days of Celebration

Happy Chinese New Year: 15 Days of Celebration

Posted by Rob on January 31, 2014 in Destinations | ∞

Happy Chinese New Year: 15 Days of Celebration

The Chinese New Year is a 15-day event that begins today, January 31st. The Chinese use lunar and solar changes to map their yearly calendar, with each year representing a different animal. That is how the Chinese Zodiac works, and this year is the year of the wooden horse.

From here on out the festivities will be full throttle as those who celebrate travel to friends and family, reunite with each other, and enjoy each other’s company. Food is a big part of Chinese New Year celebrations. From steamed rice pudding to dumplings, nian gao cake (pictured below) to long noodles, food is at the heart of the event.

Nian Gao

Nian Gao is a Chinese dish eaten during the Chinese New Year

The thing is though, you better clean up your act (and your home) before the party starts. It’s considered bad luck if you clean on New Year’s Day, so make sure you have that broom put away — cleaning is traditionally done before the New Year. Chinese people are very family-oriented, and the celebrations that begin today are done to honor deceased relatives, share meals with family, and give gifts to one another.

Now that you know a bit about how the festivities begin, here’s what to expect for the next 15 days…

How To Celebrate Chinese New Year

New Year’s Eve. It’s all about the fireworks. New Year’s Eve is celebrated with fireworks display and plenty of firecrackers.

Day 1. If you are a vegan, you’ll appreciate how the celebration starts — most people forgo eating meat. It’s considered bad luck. Instead, people eat vegetarian dishes like jai.


Jai is a vegetarian dish that is served on the 1st day of celebrations.

Day 2. This is a day of prayer. The Chinese pray to their ancestors and gods. This day is also considered the day dogs were born, so Fidos everywhere get spoiled on this day with plenty of treats and love.

Days 3 and 4. These days are reserved for son-in-laws to pay respect to their in-laws.

Day 5. “Po Wu”, as it is known in Chinese, is the day to people get up early to clean their homes and go back to work. It’s a day that the Chinese god of wealth was born. Businessmen typically return to work to set off fireworks in hopes of acquiring good fortune for the year ahead.

Days 6 to 10. Prayers for health and wealth are held at local temples. Much detail goes into preparing the temples. Words of blessing are embroidered into banners that adorn the temples, and red lanterns will hung throughout.

Day 7. This day is the birthday of man. The celebrations include a festival where local farmers show off their harvest. Long noodles are eaten in order to invoke longevity as well as raw fish, which is thought to bring success in the coming year.

Day 8. The god of heaven, Tian Gong, is honored through midnight prayers by the Fujian people, who have a reunion with family to celebrate the event.

Day 9. Chinese mythology depicts the Jade Emperor as the ruler of heaven and the creator of the universe. This is the day the Chinese make offerings to the Jade Emperor.

Days 10 to 13. It’s time for another family meal! If you’ve noticed, family is such a big part of the tradition, and from days 10 through 13, Chinese families will send out dinner invitations to enjoy a light meal of rice congee and mustard greens.

Day 14. The Lantern Festival is held on the last day of the Chinese New Year. This day is spent preparing for the festival and nighttime parade.

Want to experience China for yourself? Pack your bags for the Jewels of China getaway!

Tags: china new year celebration, chinese new year, lantern festival

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