Celebrate the Chinese New Year
January 29, 2010
The Chinese New Year is one of the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays, and is actually a festival that runs for over two weeks, starting on the first day of February and ending on the 15th.
The traditional celebration is steeped in rituals and traditions and is based on mythology.
Some of the most important parts of the fun and festive celebration are the presents, the delicious food and the traditions.
During the holiday, families will thoroughly clean their homes to get rid of any bad luck that might have taken up residence over the past year, and to welcome in good fortune in the coming one.
Families often mark the celebration with plenty of fun Chinese New Year decorations. One popular style of decorations are paper-cuts. Paper cutting is an art form that produces beautiful and delicate decorations that often adorn doors and windows during the holiday.
Host a Chinese New Year celebration at your house
In Chinese myth, a mythical beast named Nien would come to villages on the first day of every new year and devour farm animals, food supplies and children. However, one day, Nien was frightened away by a child wearing red.
Because of that, villagers would hang red lanterns and decorations for protection at the start of every new year.
The tradition has continued, and red is still a popular color for decorations, so if you are hosting a Chinese New Year at your home, go all out and put up as many red lanterns, table cloths, center pieces and streamers as you can.
Many traditional Chinese New Year decorations express popular sentiments like health, wealth, happiness and longevity.
Don't let your guests go hungry!
Of course, the delicious traditional foods are an important part of the feast. On the Eve of Chinese New Year, friends and family often gather together to enjoy each other's company, express their appreciation for one another and feast on some fabulous foods.
The meal will typically include fish and chicken dinners as well as vegetarian fare, and sweets like dried fruits, taro cakes or turnip cakes.
Gather your loved ones together at your home, and have plenty of sweet and savory dishes available for them. Stock up on party supplies like Chinese New Year cups, plates and napkins.
Not only will your guests appreciate your extra effort, but clean-up will be a snap!
Traditionally, after the meal the entire family will light firecrackers.
This is also a great way to end your party, so at each place setting have a few sparklers laid out. When everyone is finished eating, head outside for a fun and festive finale to your delicious meal.
Save some extra firecrackers to hand out as party favors, just be sure that children don't use them unattended.
In some families, red envelopes with of money are handed out during the meal to bring the recipients luck in the new year.