If you are planning a tour to China in Jan.-Feb. 2011, you will have chance to experience the special Spring Festival
From the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month: extensive house-cleaning, cooking, New Year goods shopping, New Year Scroll sticking, etc.
New Year's Eve, the last night of the last year, is a time for family to get together for eating, catching up and Shou Sui (stay up late to the next day, or the next year).
At midnight, it's a custom to eat Jiao Zi (dumplings), because the word Jiao Zi is similar to the ancient word with the meaning of changing and the new replacing the old. And the crescent shape of the dumpling is also similar to ancient money and the image of plates piled high with the dumplings lets people imagine heaps of money being brought to the table symbolizing wealth in the New Year.
It is customary to set off firecrackers during Chinese festivals. This was traditionally done to scare away demons but in modern times is a ritual of merriment and pyrotechnics.
Day One: New Year's Day (the first day of the first lunar month) Traditionally, people will welcome the gods from the heaven and earth. Ming and Qing emperors would perform a grand ceremony at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. Nowadays people usually get up early and pay New Year visit to their parents and neighbors. Elders give children ya sui, or gifts of money. The money is put into a lovely red envelope, called a Hong Bao, which is usually decorated with New Year’s wishes.
Some Chinese might give up meat for the day. No one cleans! Cleaning on New Year's Day is serious bad luck; you might sweep all the good fortune out the door!
Day Two: Prayers to ancestors are added to prayers to the gods. It's believed that this day is the birthday of all dogs, so it's better to be extra kind to dogs on this day as well. And sons-in-laws would pay a visit to their in-law families with their families.
Days Three to Day Nine: Day Five: families go out to visit relatives and friends each other. Day Seven is a special day for farmers and it's also supposed to be the birthday of all mankind. Eating noodles is traditional to ensure long life.
Day Ten to Twelve: Now that the visiting is over, it's time to invite family and friends over for dinner.
Day Thirteen: Finally! A break in the lavish meals! One is supposed to eat simply on the thirteenth day of New Year.
Day Fourteen: Time to prepare for day fifteen, the Lantern Festival.
Day Fifteen: Yuan Xiao, or Lantern Festival. The Lantern Festival, celebrated on the night of the first full moon, also marks the end of the Chinese New Year holiday period. Chinese people light lanterns, play riddle games and eat sticky rice balls.
-Or Back to-Chinese New Year Tours 2011
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