Chinese New Year Eve
New Year Cleaning
On the days before the New Year, Chinese families give their houses a thorough cleaning.
But traditionally, this practice is done on New Year Eve.
The dust and dirt are traditionally associated with “old” in Chinese culture, so cleaning the houses and sweeping the dust mean to bid farewell to the past new and usher in the new year.
New Year Eve Feast
The New Year’s Feast is “a must” banquet with all the family members getting together.
Southern Chinese eat “niangao” (New Year cake made of glutinous rice flour) on this special day, because a homophone of “Niangao”, means “higher and higher every year”.
Read more on Chinese New Year Food
Shousu-Staying up late
Shousui means to stay up late or all night on New Year’s Eve.
After the New Year’s Feast, families sit together to wait for the New Year’s arrival.
Waiting for the First Bell Ringing of Chinese New Year
The first rising bell is a symbol of Chinese New Year.
As the New Year approaches they count down and celebrate together.
People believe that the ringing of huge bell can drive all the bad luck away and bring fortune to them.
Decorations for private houses are usually done on New Year’s Eve.
People will paste red couplets and door gods on doors, hold red lanterns in their houses.
The reason why red color is frequently used for New Year decorations is that it is associated with good fortune and happiness in Chinese culture.
paper-cut on windows while in South China, such as Guangzhou and Hong Kong, certain flowers and plants are used.
Read more on Chinese New Year decorations.
The First Day
Lighting Firecrackers used to be one of the most important customs in the Chinese New Year celebration.
Just as the clock strikes 12 o’clock, beginning a new year on the Chinese lunar calendar, cities and towns are lit up with the sparkle of fireworks and the sound can be deafening.
Parents or elders give “lucky money” to their children
“Lucky money” is the money given to kids from their parents, grandparents and bosses to their employees as a New Year gift.
The money is believed to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits, hence the name “lucky money”.
They choose to put the money in red envelopes because Chinese people think red is a lucky color.
They wish the lucky color will bring their children good luck in the coming year.
Greeting to Each Other
On the first day of the New Year, everybody wears new clothes and greets relatives and friends with bows and Gongxi (congratulations), wishing each other good luck, happiness during the new year.
Busy people who do not have time to pay a visit to their friends’ house will opt to send New Year Card and text massage to their friends or relatives. See Chinese New Year Cards .
The Second Day
Traditionally, the second day of Chinese New Year is for married daughter to visit the house of her parents.
The Third to the Seventh Day
From the third day to the seventh day, people go out to visit relatives and friends.
The Eight Day
The eight day is the end of the official New Year Holiday and people will go to work on this day. All of government agencies and business will stop celebrating on the eighth day.
The Fifteenth Day
The fifteenth Day of the New Year is the Yuanxiao (Lantern Festival), which marks the end of the Spring Festival celebrations.