Wednesday, January 31, 2007
posted by Kate at Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Many interesting and peculiar customs and traditions are an intrinsic part of celebration of the most important festival of the Chinese New Year.People are garbed in red clothes, even lanterns hung for the purpose of decoration are red in color. It is so because it is commonly believed that red symbolizes fire which according to legend can fend off bad luck. Bright red is considered to be an auspicious color and stands for happiness while gold stands for wealth. The colors black and white are avoided during this time as they represent mourning.

Every traditional Chinese home also has the custom of keeping live blooming plants to symbolize rebirth and new growth during the Chinese New Year. There is also the tradition of welcoming guests with the “Tray of Togetherness” (Cheun Hup) to wish a sweet beginning. Another significant custom associated with Chinese New Year celebration is to spend the New Year’s Eve preparing Chinese dumplings (Jiaozi) with a coin hidden inside the dumpling as it is presumed that whoever gets it will enjoy the grace of luck in the coming years. Even a traditional Buddhist vegetarian delight called “Jai” is prepared on the first day of Chinese New Year using eighteen different ingredients as the Chinese believe eighteen to be a lucky number signifying wealth and prosperity.On New Year’s Day little children are also gifted Red Lai-See Envelopes which are good luck money wrapped in little red envelopes.