The best part of Chinese New Year…

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By Shudi Peng
Contributor

Chinese New Year is a popular holiday in China. The best part of the holiday are some of the things you’ll find listed below, from dumplings to Caishen and the lucky money.

Chinese New Year, also known as Chinese Spring Festival, will be celebrated on Saturday. Here are 10 ways you can participate in some of the festivities locally or learn more about the festival.

DUMPLINGS


Dumplings are a delicious dish, which is originated from China. Scholars believe that dumplings were invented in the era of Three Kings by Zhuge Liang. He was a general and minister of Shu Han. People would eat dumplings during the Spring Festival in China in the past. Now the dish is a Chinese staple at dinnertime but is still popular as Chinese New Year traditional food. Dumblings are made from flour, and may filled with different ingredients, such as meat, fish, vegetables and sweet items. They are really fantastic!  Chinese people like to eat dumplings in the New Year because it looks like Chinese ancient money. When you eat dumplings, it is meant to be sumbolic and means you will earn a lot in the future. In some Chinese areas, people may put a coin inside of a dumpling. When one person eats the one with coin inside, he or she would be the luck person this year!

OFFERING TO CHINESE GOD AND ANSECTORS

During the Chinese New Year, people place food in front of the statues of God or pictures of ancestors. Incents are also placed in front of the food. People may burn some luxuries things which are made by paper to ‘give’ their God and ancestors. The purpose of it is to make the angry spirits be pleased and promote family peace in the new year.

LUCKY MONEY


Lucky money is important to people in China. When Chinese New Year comes around, adults give lucky money to children in red envelopes. It symbolizes good luck and to discard evil spirits. There are several legends for those who celebrate lucky money. For instance, one story is about a demon who harmed children in the night. In order to protect their children, one family prayed God for help. God told them to put eight coins under each child’s pillow.  When the demons approached in the night, the shine of the coins made the demon scared and he ran away.

CHUNLIAN


Chunlian, which means couplet in English and is a greeting banner on doorways, is a very popular thing in Chinese New Year. It is used to welcome Chinese New Year.  It was originally from Five Dynasties in China, and it became popular during Ming and Qing Dynasties. Couplets often are written on red paper to stick on the walls.

DRAGON AND LION DANCE


Dragon and lion dances are a form of traditional dance in Asian culture. It a role play of a lion’s movement in costume. The dragon and lion dance is usually performed during Chinese New Year and at a few other celebratory festivals. It originated from the Qin Dynasty, then became more as time passed.

NIANGAO


Niangao is a Chinese New Year Cake made of rice. It is considered a good luck item in New Year. This sticky sweet snack was believed to be an offering to the Kitchen God, with the aim that his mouth will be stuck with the sticky cake, so that he can’t badmouth the human family in front of the Jade Emperor. Asian people enjoying eat it because in Chinese the word “Nian” means “year” and “Gao” is symbolic of the word “high”, so in essence “Niangao” means higher and higher in this year which is really good luck.

CHINESE GREETING WORDS


Chinese greeting words are always important to Chinese people because everyone will smile to different people and say different words for good luck. It makes people happy.

FU


Fu, means lucky, the word is always right flipped upside down because it means luck is coming.

BAINIAN


Bainian is when families visit friends and relatives during the Chinese Spring festival. People always wear new dresses and outfits during that time.

CAISHEN


Caishen is a statue often found in some homes. People greet him by burning incense sticks and praying over the statue in a respectful way in hopes of a prosperous New Year.

 

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