This year, Saturday, January 28th, isn’t just any old Saturday if you’re in China, it happens to mark the Chinese New Year. Commonly referred to as the “Spring Festival,” it’s celebrated at the turn of the lunisolar calendar; it’s the most important holiday and we’re going to tell you why and how you can be part of the festivities!
Unlike our New Year, Spring Festival isn’t focused on celebrating what’s to come, instead, it pays tribute to the past year’s hard work, and it’s, similarly, devoted to resting and relaxing with family. It’s roots date back to China’s farming community, as it traditionally commenced the start of a new year of farm work – it has since evolved into a new business year with wishes for profit and success.
During this holiday, families gather for a large reunion dinner – recognized as the most important meal of the year – where members exchange gifts including red envelopes (given to children or retired adults), decorations, new clothes, and more. Building exteriors are gleaming red, as it’s the festival’s main color, and this year there will be plenty of décor relating to the Rooster, since 2017 is the year of the rooster.
If you’re planning a trip to China, and you’re eager to embrace the culture, we suggest you take the time to attend local dragon dances, lion dances, imperial performances, or – if you’re visiting North China – enjoying the Rice Sprout Song. Additionally, it’s encouraged that you consume “lucky foods” to increase your luck in the coming year. In fact, it’s believed that indulging in fish will bring a surplus of money and good luck in the days to come. Festivities typically continue for approximately 15 days, so you’ll have plenty of time to explore and take part!
So, what do you say? Grab the family, and head to China where you can sound out the old year and sound in the new with firecrackers and plenty of fun!