The 15-day Chinese New Year festivalThe whole Chinese celebration of New Year is a set of activities divided into fifteen days. In Chinese culture, the New Year is an auspicious time, where in action done during the celebration may dictate how the rest of the year will turn out. This is why such celebrations are very dear in Chinese society and well prepared. The celebrations start with paying homage to the gods of Heaven and ends with the majestic Lantern festival.Traditions and superstitions
Chinese tradition is based mostly in culture and superstition. New Year is an auspicious time and many Chinese societies observe superstitious beliefs that would entail good fortune. Some of these are doing house cleaning, visiting friends and family, remembering ancestors, cooking round foods and eating the famous Chinese Rice cake. New Year also is celebrated by huge amounts of fireworks as the sound of explosions will drive evil spirits away. Gifts such as the ever famous red envelope filled with money are all traditional ways of celebrating the entrance of the New Year in Chinese culture.
Origin of the famous “Gung Hei Fat Choi”For many Non-Chinese cultures, the “Gung Hei Fat Choi” banner is commonly associated with the Chinese New Year celebration. Its translation literally means “Wishing you to be prosperous” and it is considered a courteous gesture to greet people during the changing of the year. Its origin dates centuries back, but its popularity in the west only started in the 1800s as Chinese immigrants began to venture out of China. However, most Cantonese and Mandarin speakers do not pronounce it that way. Mandarin speakers would say “Gung Xi Fa Xai” while Cantonese is “Gung Hee Huat Tsai,” though both translate to a sincere hope that you have a prosperous year. However, in the Chinese language, the direct literal translation of Happy New Year is “Xin Nian Kuai Le.”
Importance in Chinese SocietyThe Chinese New Year has always been regarded as one of the most important festivals in Chinese society. Its cultural importance is so great that every Chinese individual in every country celebrates it consistently. This festival serves as a cultural heritage that binds every Chinese person in an emotional and spiritual level. It is a symbol for renewal and hope. It is a new start, and it signifies a chance to make amends the mistake made in the previous year and receiving a new, blank slate on which to write another brand new life.