Saturday, January 28, 2017 is the day families celebrate Chinese New Year, also known by Lunar New Year. This year is the Year of the Rooster, one of the animals in the zodiac. China Highlights states, “Chinese people believe that a good start to the year will lead to a lucky year.” Families will spend days to clean and deck the house with bright red decorations to bring the best of luck to the family. On the day of the Chinese New Year, every individual in the family is to wear red clothes, for the color red is a lucky color in the Chinese culture.

Traditionally, firecrackers are set off accompanied with a dragon dance and a lion dance to “scare off” the bad spirits during the huge festival. People often confuse the dragon dance with the lion dance. A China Family Adventure states, “The main difference between the two is that the Dragon Dance is performed by a team of a dozen or so dancers, whereas the Lion performance is acted out by only two dancers.”

Another important aspect of Chinese New Year are red envelopes. Red envelopes have money in them and are given out to pass on the luck. The individual handing out the envelopes are only given to the people that are younger than that individual. The amount of money given out also depends on the relationship between the two individuals. If the person is a relative of the individual, more money is given to the receiver.

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At the end of the day, family members gather together to eat a big feast. The importance of Chinese New Year is to spend the day with family members and what college student doesn’t love some money and good food?

 

Picture Credits: Time and Date & Segerstrom Center for the Arts

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