Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Chinese New Year

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

The Chinese New Year always coincides with the Lunar New Year. This year is known as the Year of the Snake; officially beginning at 12:01 a.m. February 10th, 2013 and extends through January 30th, 2014. This fifteen day new year celebration is so important to Asians that, traditionally, they do not go to work for much of this period.

Day One

The first day, which starts at midnight, gives honor to the God of Heaven and Earth. People do not cook on this day. No animal products are consumed. This is believed to increase longevity and is especially observed among Buddhists. Folks keep away from any harm that may be caused by knives and other sharp objects.
On this special occasion, people visit with senior members of their family, salute them, and exchange red envelopes which consist of money. Joy is expressed by setting-off fireworks and firecrackers.

The Second Day
On the Second Day, people pray to their ancestors as well as to God to bring them good luck and prosperity in the coming year. Married women stay at home or go home for a visit.
The second day is also considered as the birthday of all dogs; therefore people are kind to dogs and customarily give them doggy treats.
Business men, especially those of Cantonese descent, conduct a prayer known as ‘Hoi Nin’ to bring good luck to their businesses in the forthcoming year.

Third and Fourth Day
On these two days, the in-laws are paid respect by sons-in-law. To prevent arguments, it is believed that home visits should not be done on these two days. This is a good time visit the gravesites of loved ones who have past away during the past three years.

Day Five
This day is called ‘Poo Woo’, the day in which people welcome the God of Wealth and stay in their homes. It is considered to be the birthday of the Chinese God of Wealth. People do not visit the homes of others, since it is believed to bring bad luck.
Natives of Northern China eat dumplings in the morning of the fifth day.
Natives of Taiwan re-open their businesses on this day to bring good luck to their businesses.
There is a fire works display to impress the God of Wealth.

The Sixth Day
People pray to God for their good fate and wellbeing on this day. This is a day to visit with loved ones, relatives and friends; but, not close family members.

Day Seven
The Seventh Day celebrates the birthday of the Human Being. Everyone is one year older on this day. We eat noodles to enhance longevity and raw fish (yusheng) for achievement. This is the day that farmers exhibit their crops. They make seven drinks out of seven vegetables on this day.

Day Eight
The Eighth Day is our Family Reunion Dinner to celebrate the eve of the birthday of the Jade Emperor. From this day onward, people start to return to work.

Day Nine
The Ninth Day is the birthday of the ruler of heaven—the Jade Emperor. People pray and give offerings to God.

The Tenth Day
People continue to celebrate the birthday of the Jade Emperor. They invite their friends and relatives for dinner.

The Eleventh and Twelfth Day
Folks continue to invite their relatives and friends over for dinner.

Day Thirteen
It is the day when people eat only pure vegetarian food to clean their system, because of the mass consumption of food during last two weeks. It is also a day devoted to Guan Yu, the God of War. Business men pray to this God to overcome all the difficulties in their path.

The Fourteenth Day
This day is for the preparation of the Lantern Feast that is to be held the next day.

The Last Day
On this day people carry lanterns, light candles and walk through the street to bring good fortune. Rice dumplings are consumed on this day. This day marks the end of all celebrations of Chinese New Year. Happy New Year...!

1 comment:

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