Chinese new year

Chinese New Year
1. Chinese New Year is an important traditional Chinese holiday celebrated at the turn of the Chinese calendar. In China, it is also known as the Spring Festival, the literal translation of the modern Chinese name. Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally run from Chinese New Years Eve, the last day of the last month of the Chinese calendar, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month, making the festival the longest in the Chinese calendar. Because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year is often referred to as the Lunar New Year.

The source of Chinese New Year is itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. Traditionally, the festival was a time to honor deities as well as ancestors.Chinese New Year is celebrated in countries and territories with significant Chinese populations, including Mainland China, Hong Kong,Macau, Taiwan, Singapore,Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauritius,Philippines, and also in Chinatowns elsewhere. Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had influence on the lunar new year celebrations of its geographic neighbours. .....

Mythology
2. According to tales and legends, the beginning of Chinese New Year started with a mythical beast called the Nian. Nian would come on the first day of New Year to eat livestock, crops, and even villagers, especially children. To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year. It was believed that after the Nian ate the food they prepared, it wouldnt attack any more people. One day a villager decided to get revenge of the Nian. A god visited him and told him to put red paper on his house and to place firecrackers. The villagers then understood that the Nian was afraid of the color red. When the New Year was about to come, the villagers would hang red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. People also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nian. From then on, Nian never came to the village again. The Nian was eventually captured by Hongjun Laozu, an ancient Taoist monk. The Nian became Hongjun Laozus mount. .....
First day
3. The first day is for the welcoming of the deities of the heavens and earth, officially beginning at midnight. It is a traditional practice to light fireworks, burn bamboo sticks and firecrackers and to make as much of a din as possible to chase off the evil spirits as encapsulated by nian of which the term guo nian was derived. Many people, especially Buddhists, abstain from meat consumption on the first day because it is believed that this will ensure longevity for them. Some consider lighting fires and using knives to be bad luck on New Years Day, so all food to be consumed is cooked the days before. On this day, it is considered bad luck to use the broom.

Most importantly, the first day of Chinese New Year is a time to honor ones elders and families visit the oldest and most senior members of their extended families, usually their parents, grandparents and great grandparents.

For Buddhists, the first day is also the birthday of Maitreya Bodhisattva (better known as the more familiar Budai Luohan), the Buddha to be. People also abstain from killing animals.

Some families may invite a lion dance troupe as a symbolic ritual to usher in the Chinese New Year as well as to evict bad spirits from the premises. Members of the family who are married also give red envelopes containing cash known as lai see or angpow, a form of blessings and to suppress the aging and challenges associated with the coming year, to junior members of the family, mostly children and teenagers. Business managers also give bonuses through red packets to employees for good luck, smooth sailing, good health and wealth.

While fireworks and firecrackers are traditionally very popular, some regions have banned them due to concerns over fire hazards. For this reason, various city governments (e.g., Hong Kong, Beijing, for a number of years) issued bans over fireworks and firecrackers in certain precincts of the city. As a substitute, large scale fireworks display have been launched by governments in such cities as Hong Kong and Singapore. .....

Second day
4. The second day of the Chinese New Year, known as beginning of the year was when married daughters visited their birth parents, relatives and close friends. (Traditionally, married daughters didnt have the opportunity to visit their birth families frequently.)During the days of imperial China, beggars and other unemployed people circulate[d] from family to family, carrying a picture [of the God of Wealth] shouting, Cai Shen dao! [The God of Wealth has come!].Householders would respond with lucky money to reward the messengers. Business people of the Cantonese dialect group will hold a Hoi Nin prayer to start their business on the 2nd day of Chinese New Year so they will be blessed with good luck and prosperity in their business for the year.As this day is believed to be The Birthday of Che Kung, a deity worshipped in Hong Kong, worshippers go to Che Kung Temples to pray for his blessing. A representative from the government asks Che Kung about the citys fortune through kau cim.Some believe that the second day is also the birthday of all dogs and remember them with special treats. .....
Third day
5. The third day is known as red mouth. Chikou is also called Chigous Day Rural villagers continue the tradition of burning paper offerings over trash fires. It is considered an unlucky day to have guests or go visiting.Hakka villagers in rural Hong Kong in the 1960s called it the Day of the Poor Devil and believed everyone should stay at home.This is also considered a propitious day to visit the temple of the God of Wealth and have ones future told. .....
Fourth day
6. In those communities that celebrate Chinese New Year for only two or three days, the fourth day is when corporate spring dinners kick off and business returns to normal. .....
Fifth day
7. This day is the god of Wealths birthday. In northern China, people eat jiaozi, or dumplings, on the morning of powu.In Taiwan, businesses traditionally re open on the next day (the sixth day), accompanied by firecrackers.It is also common in China that on the 5th day people will shoot off firecrackers to get Guan Yus attention, thus ensuring his favor and good fortune for the new year. .....
Seventh day
8. The seventh day, traditionally known as Renri (the common persons birthday), is the day when everyone grows one year older. In some overseas Chinese communities in Southeast Asia, such as Malaysia and Singapore, it is also the day when tossed raw fish salad, yusheng, is eaten for continued wealth and prosperity.For many Chinese Buddhists, this is another day to avoid meat, the seventh day commemorating the birth of Sakra, lord of the devas in Buddhist cosmology who is analogous to the Jade Emperor. .....
Eighth day
9. Another family dinner is held to celebrate the eve of the birth of the Jade Emperor, the ruler of heaven. People normally return to work by the eighth day, therefore the Store owners will host a lunch/dinner with their employees, thanking their employees for the work they have done for the whole year.Approaching 12 midnight on this day, Hokkien people prepare for the Jade Emperor ritual during which incense is burnt and food offerings made to the Jade Emperor and also to Zao Jun, the Kitchen god who reports on each family to the Jade Emperor.Some people will hold a ritual prayer after midnight on the eighth day. In Malaysia, especially, people light fireworks, often more than on the first day.This practice of Bai Ti Gong can also be seen in Singapore. .....
Ninth day
10. The ninth day of the New Year is a day for Chinese to offer prayers to the Jade Emperor of Heaven in the Daoist Pantheon.The ninth day is traditionally the birthday of the Jade Emperor. This day, called Ti Kong Dan, Ti Kong Si or Pai Ti Kong , is especially important to Hokkiens, even more important than the first day of the Chinese New Year.Come midnight of the eighth day of the new year, Hokkiens will offer thanks to the Emperor of Heaven. A prominent requisite offering is sugarcane.Legend holds that the Hokkien were spared from a massacre by Japanese pirates by hiding in a sugarcane plantation during the eighth and ninth days of the Chinese New Year, coinciding with the Jade Emperors birthday.Since sugarcaneis a near homonym to thank you in the Hokkien dialect, Hokkiens offer sugarcane on the eve of his birthday, symbolic of their gratitude.In the morning of this birthday, Taiwanese households set up an altar table with 3 layers one top (containing offertories of six vegetables , noodles, fruits, cakes, tangyuan, vegetable bowls, and unripe betel, all decorated with paper lanterns) and two lower levels (containing the five sacrifices and wines) to honor the deities below the Jade Emperor.The household then kneels three times and kowtows nine times to pay obeisance and wish him a long life.Incense, tea, fruit, vegetarian food or roast pig, and gold paper is served as a customary protocol for paying respect to an honored person. .....
Tenth day
11. The Jade Emperors party is celebrated on this day. .....
Thirteenth day
12. On the 13th day people will eat pure vegetarian food in the belief that it will clean out their stomachs due to consuming too much food over the preceding two weeks.This day is dedicated to the General Guan Yu, also known as the Chinese God of War. Guan Yu was born in the Han dynasty and is considered the greatest general in Chinese history. He represents loyalty, strength, truth, and justice. According to history, he was tricked by the enemy and was beheaded.Almost every organization and business in China will pray to Guan Yu on this day. Before his life ended, Guan Yu had won over one hundred battles and that is a goal that all businesses in China want to accomplish. In a way, people look at him as the God of Wealth or the God of Success. .....
Fifteenth day
13. The fifteenth day of the new year is celebrated as Yuanxiao Festival or the Lantern Festival a sweet glutinous rice ball brewed in a soup, are eaten this day. Candles are lit outside houses as a way to guide wayward spirits home. This day is celebrated as the Lantern Festival, and families walk the street carrying lighted lanterns.In Malaysia and Singapore, this day is celebrated by individuals seeking for a romantic partner, akin to Valentines Day.Normally, single women would write their contact number on mandarin oranges and throw it in a river or a lake while single men would collect them and eat the oranges. The taste is an indication of their possible love sweet represents a good fate while sour represents a bad fate.This day often marks the end of the Chinese New Year festivities. .....
Traditional food
14. A reunion dinner, named as Nian Ye Fan, is held on New Years Eve during which family members gather for celebration. The venue will usually be in or near the home of the most senior member of the family. The New Years Eve dinner is very large and sumptuous and traditionally includes dishes of meat (namely, pork and chicken) and fish. Most reunion dinners also feature a communal hot pot as it is believed to signify the coming together of the family members for the meal. Most reunion dinners (particularly in the Southern regions) also prominently feature specialty meats (e.g. wax cured meats like duck and Chinese sausage) and seafood (e.g. lobster and abalone) that are usually reserved for this and other special occasions during the remainder of the year. In most areas, fish sounds the same as let there be fish every year. Eight individual dishes are served to reflect the belief of good fortune associated with the number. If in the previous year a death was experienced in the family, seven dishes are served.Red packets for the immediate family are sometimes distributed during the reunion dinner. These packets often contain money in certain numbers that reflect good luck and honorability. Several foods are consumed to usher in wealth, happiness, and good fortune. Several of the Chinese food names are homophones for words that also mean good things.Like many other New Year dishes, certain ingredients also take special precedence over others as these ingredients also has similar sounding names with prosperity, good luck, or even counting money. .....
Red envelopes
15. Red packets almost always contain money, usually varying from a couple of dollars to several hundred. Per custom, the amount of money in the red packets should be of even numbers, as odd numbers are associated with cash given during funerals. The number 8 is considered lucky (for its homophone for wealth), and $8 is commonly found in the red envelopes in the US. The number six is also very lucky as it sounds like smooth, in the sense of having a smooth year. The number four is the worst because its homophone is death Sometimes chocolate coins are found in the red packets.Odd and even numbers are determined by the first digit, rather than the last. Thirty and fifty, for example, are odd numbers, and are thus appropriate as funeral cash gifts. However, it is common and quite acceptable to have cash gifts in a red packet using a single bank note .....
Gift exchange
16. In addition to red envelopes, which are usually given from elder to younger, small gifts (usually of food or sweets) are also exchanged between friends or relatives (of different households) during Chinese New Year. Gifts are usually brought when visiting friends or relatives at their homes. Common gifts include fruits (typically oranges, and never pears), cakes, biscuits, chocolates, candies, or some other small gifts. .....
Markets
17. Markets or village fairs are set up as the New Year is approaching. These usually open air markets feature new year related products such as flowers, toys, clothing, and even fireworks. It is convenient for people to buy gifts for their new year visits as well as their home decorations. In some places, the practice of shopping for the perfect plum tree is not dissimilar to the Western tradition of buying a Christmas tree. .....
Fireworks
18. Bamboo stems filled with gunpowder that were burnt to create small explosions were once used in ancient China to drive away evil spirits. In modern times, this method has eventually evolved into the use of firecrackers during the festive season. Firecrackers are usually strung on a long fused string so it can be hung down. Each firecracker is rolled up in red papers, as red is auspicious, with gunpowder in its core. Once ignited, the firecracker lets out a loud popping noise and, as they are usually strung together by the hundreds, the firecrackers are known for their deafening explosions that are thought to scare away evil spirits. The burning of firecrackers also signifies a joyful time of year and has become an integral aspect of Chinese New Year celebrations. .....
Clothing
19. Clothing mainly featuring the color red or bright colors is commonly worn throughout the Chinese New Year because it was once believed that red could scare away evil spirits and bad fortune. In addition, people typically wear new clothes from head to toe to symbolize a new beginning in the new year. Wearing new clothes also symbolizes having more than enough things to use and wear in the new year. Red is a color of good luck. .....
Family portrait
20. Taking family portrait is an important ceremony after the relatives are gathered. The photo is taken at the hall of the house or taken in front of the house. The most senior male head of the family sits in the center. .....
Spring travel
21. Traditionally, families gather together during the Chinese New Year. In modern China, migrant workers in China travel home to have reunion dinners with their families on Chinese New Years Eve. Owing to the large number of interprovincial travellers, special arrangements were made by railways, buses and airlines starting from 15 days before the New Years Day. This 40 day period is called chunyun, and is known as the worlds largest annual migration.More interurban trips are taken in mainland China in this period than the total population of China.

In Taiwan, spring travel is also a major event. The majority of transportation in western Taiwan is north south direction long distance travel between urbanized north and hometowns in rural south. Transportations in eastern Taiwan and that between Taiwan and islands are less convenient. Cross strait flights between Taiwan and mainland China began in 2003 as part of Three Links, mostly for Taiwanese businessmen to return to Taiwan for the new year. .....

Plants and Flowers
22. Every traditional Chinese household should also have live blooming plants to symbolize rebirth and new growth. Flowers are believed to be symbolic of wealth and high positions in ones career. Lucky is the home with a plant that blooms on New Years Day, for that foretells a year of prosperity. In more elaborate settings, plum blossoms just starting to bloom are arranged with bamboo and pine sprigs, the grouping symbolizing friends &endash; the plum blossom also signifies reliability and perseverance; the bamboo is known for its compatibility, its utility and its flexible stems for furniture and other articles;the evergreen pine evokes longevity and steadiness. Other highly prized flowers are the pussy willow,azalea, peony and water lily or narcissus.The Chinese firmly believe that without flowers, there would be no formation of any fruits. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to have flowers and floral decorations.They are the emblems of reawakening of nature, they are also intimately connected with superstition and with the wish for happiness during the ensuing year. .....
Oranges and Tangerines
23. Etiquette dictates that you must bring a bag of oranges and tangerines and enclose a lai see when visiting family or friends anytime during the two week long Chinese New Year celebration. Tangerines with leaves intact assure that ones relationship with the other remains secure. For newlyweds, this represents the branching of the couple into a family with many children. Oranges and tangerines are symbols for abundant happiness. .....
Dumplings
24. Dumplings are very popular in Northern China. It is one of the main dishes for New Years Eve dinner. Very few people in Southern China serve dumplings in New Years Eve dinner. .....
New Year Cake
25. It is solid cake made with glutinous rice flour together with some sugar. New Year Cake is popular in Eastern China. .....
Tang Yuan
26. Tang Yuan is small ball made from glutinous rice flour. Glutinous rice flour is mixed with a small amount of water to form balls and is then cooked and served in boiling water. Tang Yuan can be either filled or unfilled. It is traditionally eaten during Yuan Xiao, or the Lantern Festival (the 15th of the first month of the traditional Chinese calendar). .....
LaBa Congee
27. It is a mixture of rice, nuts, and beans cooked together. LaBa Congee is usually served on LaBa festival which is the 8th day of the last month of the year. .....
New Years Paintings
28. New Year paintings are put up to decorate houses, carrying best wishes, and creating a happy and prosperous atmosphere at the Spring Festival.The subjects of New Year paintings are often flowers and birds, plump boys (with Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy and fertility), golden roosters, oxen, ripe fruit and treasure, or other legends and historical stories, showing desires for bountiful harvests and a happy life. The Four Homelands of the New Year Painting are New Year Painting Village in Mianzhu in Sichuan Province, Taohuawu in Suzhou, Yangliuqing in Tianjin, and Weifang in Shandong. .....
Putting Up Paper Cutouts
29. In the past people pasted paper cutouts on windows facing south and north before the Spring Festival. Paper cutouts are still popular with northerners, but people in the south only paste paper cutouts on wedding days.The subjects and themes of paper cutouts are rich, and most of them are characteristic of rural life, because the majority of buyers are peasants. Therefore paper cutouts about farming, weaving, fishing, tending sheep, feeding pigs, or raising chickens are common. Paper cutouts sometimes depict myths and legends and Chinese operas. Also flowers, birds, and Chinese Zodiac creatures are popular paper cutout designs.With their caricaturistic and exaggerated patterns, paper cutouts express the hopes of people looking forward to a better life, and give a merry and prosperous atmosphere to the Festival. .....
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Rules to play Bobsleigh
Electronic Equipment. In the time during which the track is subject to the control of the FIBT (official training and races), no electronic or electrical measuring devices or equipment legalized by the FIBT may be used on the sled, on the team or on t he track. TV cameras .....
Ways to be a Daredevil on Your Vacation
Go Parahawking in Nepal. A tourist tries tandem parahawking in Nepal. The activity allows paragliders to fly with an Egyptian vulture swooping around them and occassionally coming to land on their wrist for a morsel of meat as reward. .....
Road Safety
School Children Crossing the road. When crossing between vehicles parked on the side of the road, remember that you are invisible to the moving traffic so stop and look for a safe crossing zone. By this way the oncoming driver can see you and stop the vehicle when required. Running ac .....
Weird Vegetables
Samphire. Sometimes called sea asparagus, samphire is a remarkably rugged vegetable that you may have witnessed during a weekend trip to the coast. It grows in places few vegetables can: rocky, salt sprayed regions near the ocean.Perhaps for obvious reasons, .....
What to Eat in Maharashtra
Rassa (Taambda/ Pandhra/ Varhadi). The nonvegetarian Maharashtrian dishes include mutton, usually of sheep, lamb or goat, chicken, fish and other seafoods. Rassa is a popular type of curry prepared in Maharashtra and originated from the Kolhapur region. Ras means juice and rassa is a .....
Benefits of Turnips
Considerations. Turnips and all members of the cabbage family contain a compound that can interfere with the thyroid gland, causing low thyroid function, or hypothyroidism. Excessive consumption of glucosinolates in turnips results in production of a compound called .....
Healthy Brow
Find the Right Shade. Whether youre using a shadow or pencil, youll obviously want to pick a color as close to your natural eyebrows as possible (which isnt necessarily the same as the hair on your head). But if you cant find the right match, use a shade lighter, says Sht .....
Most Scenic Train Rides in the World
The California Zephyr. Start Point Chicago, MI, USA End Point Emeryville, CA, USA The California Zephyr charts an epic journey across the American Midwest to the West Coast. Much of the trip cuts through endless corn fields not exactly the most exciting scenery. That is .....
Cartoon Characters
Shaggy. This is Scoobys best friend, they do everything together, even get scared together and then run away together. Mmmm... makes you wonder.Shaggy is part of the Scooby-Doo gang who solves some interesting mysteries, something scary which turns out to be .....
Rules to play Figure Skating
Pair skating. Pair skating is a figure skating discipline. International Skating Union (ISU) regulations describe pair teams as consisting of one lady and one man. The sport is distinguished from ice dancing and single skating by elements unique to pair skating, i .....
Benefits of Pumpkins
Anti inflammatory effect. Pumpkin seeds have anti inflammatory properties that are very useful against the arthritis and joint inflammation. Pumpkin fruit is one of the widely grown vegetables that is incredibly rich in vital antioxidants, and vitamins. While this humble back .....
Top American Roadside Attractions
Largest Santa Claus. The tiny town of North Pole, Alaska is not actually located at the North Pole. However, that doesnt stop the town from capitalizing on the thousands of letters to Santa Claus it gets sent each year. The center of the regions holiday cheer is The Sant .....
Rules to Play Down Hill Skiing
First competitions. Skiing changed its from a method of transportation into a sporting activity during the late 19th century. The first non military skiing competitions are reported to have been held in the 1840s in northern and central Norway. The first national skiing .....
Ranking The Best Fighters In The World
Takefumi Sakata. Flyweight 36 6 2 (17) Last Year s Ranking: 70 Status Report: Sakata plummets 25 spots following a dismal year in which he beat an absolute no hoper in Eric Siregar (KO 1) and then lost to Daiki Kameda (L 12). This after falling from 44 to 70 in last .....
SuperFood
Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips. Chocolate chips can satisfy your chocolate cravings without going overboard—you can eat just a few instead of giving in to a whole chocolate bar. It’s a bonus that dark chocolate has been shown to provide some heart benefits—specifically, lowering bl .....
Daily Health Tips
The Water Cure for Tired Blood. Cold water is also a cure for anaemia. A cold water bath is among the most valuable curative measures in anaemia. The patient should be given carefully graduated cold baths twice daily. Cold friction, hot Epsom salt bath for five to 10 minutes once a .....
Valentines day
Smile. be confident and laugh! A bored or miserable expression on you wont look good. .....
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