Wednesday, February 7, 2007
posted by Kate at Wednesday, February 07, 2007

On the occasion of the New Year, every Chinese family indulge head-on into a thorough cleaning of their house with the intention of sweeping away all ill-fortune. They also give their home-sweet-home a total face-lift with a fresh coat of paint, which is usually red. Doors and windows are decorated with spring couplets, red paper hangings and colorful paintings. Traditionally, the Chinese New Year is a time when the Chinese engage in a shopping frenzy—buying gifts, cards, clothes and decorations for the auspicious day. The Chinese New Year is also a time for family reunions all over. People living far from their loved ones make it a point to get together on the occasion of the New Year. So numerous Chinese pay a visit to their hometown to spend the New Year.

Chinese families usually gather on New Year’s eve to enjoy a grand supper together. This communal feast, called the ‘weilu’ signifies the family unity and is meant to honor both the young and old generations in same breath. They play cards and board games, watch the New Year television programs and some even go to the flower market for a last-minute shopping. Right at midnight, grand fireworks light up the night-sky while on the morning of the New Year day, children greet their elders and get the coveted ‘red packet’ or ‘lucky money’ (money wrapped in red envelopes). Then the family goes out visiting friends, neighbors and relatives from door to door and exchange the ‘Xin Nian’ greetings.