Chinese New Year: Celebrating a New Year Together

3 Oct 2022

Malaysia is known for it's diversity among the people , where they share and explore each and everyone's culture from the food they crave, the clothes they bedazzle, and more.

Other than that, the country itself is also known for the number of celebrations where people found joy and festive, which results a holiday for the people to spend time to celebrate and be with their loved ones.

In the beginning of new year, the people. especially the Chinese are having their first festival known as Chinese New Year. It is one of the massive celebration as it is the time where they gather the family together, a festive meal to enjoy together, and firecrackers for double the fun.

What You Need To Know About Chinese New Year

There are a few things you need to know to get a better understanding of how the festival is celebrated.

Determining the date of the festival will be solely on Chinese lunar calender, mainly between January 22nd to February 20th.

This festival will be celebrated according to the Chinese zodiac cycle, where it features 12 animals that represent reach year accordingly.

Other than that, there's a legend story behind this joyous festival. Long ago, there's a legend beast known as Nian, which means 'year' in Chinese, set it's purpose to hunt down people and livestock on every Lunar New Year's Eve.

Therefore, the Chinese bring on the red colour, by dressing up in red clothes, decorate their stays in red, and light up the fireworks to put an end of it.

This tradition works succesfully and the tradition continues until today.

Chinese New Year Tradition

Here are the list of activities that has been a tradition for many years:

  1. Spring cleaning their house
  2. Put up wonderful decorations
  3. Offer sacrifices for the ancestors
  4. Have a huge family dinner
  5. Give angpaos and gifts
  6. Fire up firecrackers and fireworks
  7. Watch lion and dragon dances

Here is how they go on with the festival.

Firstly, there will be a major spring cleaning around the house to keep the bad spirits away. After a mjor cleanup, time to put up the decorations for the house to be ready for the festival.

It is said that the souls of their long ancestors will pay a visit during the festival. Therefore, it is important to pay respect for them before their reunion dinner. The sacrifices offered are the 'meals' they will eat during the festival. After that, they will have a wonderful dinner together, enjoying their food and company.

After a huge meal together, it is time to exchange gifts and angpaus as a token in wishing a good and blissful year. The angpau will be given to the children and the elderly. Other than that, there are other gifts that will be given such as alcohol, fruits, and tea.

Chinese New Year Food

What's a festival without their delicious food? Here are the list of must-have foods during the festival:

  1. Fish
  2. Dumpling
  3. Spring Rolls
  4. Niango (Rice Cake)
  5. Tangyuan (Rice Balls)
  6. Longevity Noodles
  7. Good Fortune Fruit

Each of the food listed above brings the good deed for those who eat. For example, fish brings prosperity, while dumplings and spring rolls brings good wealth to the family.

Chinese New Year Taboo

There is a belief among the Chinese that their actions on the new year will affect the whole year, which results from the taboo they must oblige to avoid bringing harm to themselves.

Here are some taboos you must know during Chinese New Year:

  1. Don't eat porridge on New Year's as it will lead you to poverty
  2. Don't wash your hair or clothes as it will wash all your luck away
  3. No odd amount of money in the envelope as it consider bad luck
  4. No sweeping as it will sweeps wealth away
  5. No black or white clothes as it consider as unlucky colors

Conclusion

Chinese New Year is an important festival for the Chinese as it is the time where they will be closer, bring great honor for their ancestors and reflect their actions for a better version of themselves and good deeds coming their way. 

As there are other cultural practices that holds good and honorable festivals, it is important that not only we enjoy celebrating, but keep on holding the tradition for future generations to learn and adapt.

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