Chinese New Year is characterized by street celebrations which include the lion dance and dragon dance with exploding sounds of fire crackers and fireworks. The loud noise made by the fire crackers signifies getting rid of sadness or bad events of last year and ushering in a good and prosperous coming year.
Common Chinese New Year Activity includes cleaning the houses from top to bottom, purchasing new clothes, paying off debts, painting their doors and window panes, and even getting new haircuts.
We group all activities by days, so you have a better idea of what people do during Chinese New Year:
Before Chinese New Year’s Day
Shopping, cleaning and decorating
New Year’s Eve
Family dinners and play fireworks
In some places, people stay at home on the first day. In other places, people greet each other, especially younger people and will visit and greet older relatives and friends. People began their day by offering prayers and welcome the gods of heaven and earth.
Some people will host a religious ceremony to honour the gods. Married daughters visited their birth parents, relatives and close friends. In the old days, married daughters didn’t have the opportunity to visit their birth families frequently.
It is considered an unlucky day to have guests or go visiting as it will bring bad omen. Some people have ceremonies to honour the ancestors (only applicable to some region of China).
Most businesses will resume and kick off so called “spring dinners” for their employee on this day.
This day is considered the God of Wealth’s birthday. People will have ceremonies to welcome the God of Wealth. Some people dress up as God of Wealth and give away red envelops. Just like father Christmas give away presents to the kids.
On this day, people are free to meet their friends and relatives. They also go to temples to pray for their wellbeing and another good year.
It is also known as everyone’s birthday. People will eat noodle to celebrate.
Another family dinner is held to celebrate the eve of the birth of the Jade Emperor.
Go to temple to offer prayers to the Jade Emperor of Heaven
On the 13th day people will eat only vegetarian food to clean up their stomach.
This is the Yuan Xiao festival, also called The Lantern festival. People will eat sweet rice ball to symbolise the completion of a family. This day often marks the end of the Chinese New Year festivities.