China is the country with a rich culture, sometimes with funny and unthinkable traditions. For Chinese people, the New Year – it is the Spring Festival, the start of a new life and the awakening of nature. So they respect and devote to the ancient traditions and myths, which have a symbolic meaning in the modern life of China.
Chinese New Year is celebrated according to the lunar calendar, and therefore it does not have a fixed date. New Year celebrations in China last for several days, each of which has strict rituals. Therefore, on the first day of the New Year Chinese citizens commemorate deceased ancestors and are praising the gods for the health of the living relatives. The second day of the New Year – a time when married daughters necessarily come to visit their parents. Moreover, if a girl recently married, the young husband is obliged to come to visit parents on New Year’s Day with her and bring gifts to new family members.
Chinese spend a lot of money for the celebration, some people save money for whole year.
In 2014, Chinese New Year is at night from 30 to 31 January.
Preparations for Chun Jie (Chinese: Spring Festival) begin several weeks in advance. Traditionally, streets are decorated with red lanterns. These days people are preparing fireworks, clean up areas and paint with red or stick red tapes on main door of the house. Doors and exterior walls of the houses are decorated with Chinese signs of “happiness”, “health”, “wealth”, “luck”, “prosperity” and “love.” Chinese believe that these images will attract only the best in the new lunar year to their house and their family.
Traditionally Chun Jie considered as family holiday. Both adults and children gather at home, at the big table to meet New Year together, exchange gifts, and most importantly, to tell each other the most sincere, kind, warm words and wishes.
It seems that the whole of China leaves the place they stay and moves back home. Hundreds of millions of Chinese people take planes, trains, cars – very often it is a long journey, but they do everything to get home to celebrate the New Year with their family!
And our Chinese employees are no exception!
Let’s wish them warmth, pleasure, a cosiness and sincere happiness for the New Year!
What do we cook for Chinese New Year?
On New Year’s Eve Chinese traditionally serve fish, chicken, beans, tofu and rice. In northern China special dumplings, which look like a gold bullion, are prepared – they symbolize wealth; in the South of China – there are slices of the concatenated rice. After dinner, parents give to children the coins, which are wrapped in red paper, and nowadays adults give special red envelopes with money. Chinese sincerely believe that it will bring prosperity and wealth to the house.
As soon as the New Year comes, all over China, especially in the central and northern parts of the country, Chinese perform the ritual of the “first going out”, in honor of the God of Joy. In accordance with a personal horoscope, you need to leave the house in the right direction and make 10 steps, then go back. This ritual is done by all family members, without exception.
By the way, the tradition of exploding firecrackers and fireworks came from China. Legend says that each year on the same day an angry monster eats all the people who were at that moment on the street. This was at ancient time, until one day, people found out that they could scare the monster with red color and loud sound. Since that time, Chinese celebrate the New Year in bright red dresses and with sounds of fireworks and firecrackers.
The first day of the Chinese New Year Street littered with remains of firecrackers, fireworks and rockets, and you can see multicolored ocean of red papers on the ground. On this day all Chinese go to each others homes and give gifts.
What gifts for Chinese New Year?
The best gifts are the paired gifts that symbolize the unity of family and harmony. Also popular gifts are sweets, such as candies, cookies, cakes and fruit baskets. Following the Chinese etiquette, gifts are offered first to senior, then to younger people, and priority given to man, then to woman. If you offered two mandarins, it means that you are wishing a great year to the person you gave mandarins. The phrase “two mandarins” in Chinese is consonant with the word “gold”, so be sure to give two mandarins in return.
Following Chinese lunar calendar the year of 2014 is the year of blue wooden horse. In China, the horse is considered as symbol of good health, happiness and good luck.
Perhaps you wondered why blue and wooden horse? At the time when the ancestors of Chinese roamed in Central and East Asia, people observed the movements of the Sun, Earth and Moon, and the planets Jupiter and Saturn. Later, these five celestial bodies become the object of attention of astrologers of ancient China. They noticed that Jupiter’s year takes 12 Earth years, and Saturn – 30 years. Common factor of these numbers, thus, became a 60-year cycle of the Eastern (Chinese) calendar, in which Jupiter makes five turns around the Sun.
Each of the 12-year cycle of Jupiter was named after an animal, and each cycle obtained the element and color name. In Chinese philosophy of nature there are five elements: wood, fire, metal, earth and water. They correspond to the five colors: blue (or green), red, white, yellow and black. Thus, after the going year of the Snake comes year of the Horse, then one by one: Goat (sheep), Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig, Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit and Dragon. These animals in a certain order will receive one of five colors and elements. The years, which ends by number 0 or 1 are years of white color and metal. The years terminating by 2 and 3 – black years of water; by 4 and 5 – years of wood (blue color). If the ending numbers are 6 and 7 – years of fire and red color, if 8 and 9 – years of the earth under yellow color. Thus, it is easy to define that after 2014 – a year of the blue wooden Horse, will come 2015, also blue and wooden but year of Sheep, and in 2016 – the red fire Monkey, etc.
As our company works on the Chinese market and Taobao FOCUS team is concerned with national traditional holidays of China, we congratulate all our team member and all Chinese people with coming Chinese New year!
As representative of blue wooden horse, we wish you energy, endurance, sincerity, freedom, fairness and friendliness – those qualities that will be surely respected and supported by the Horse, which will help you with everything!
We would like to note that by Oriental tradition, the horse is a symbol of wisdom and intelligence.
We wish you to be healthy and prosperous!
Our team will make maximum effort to meet your expectation through improvement and development of our service.
Thanks to all of you for being with us.
gong xi fa cai!
Your Taobao FOCUS Team