The Chinese New Year Traditions

- Jan 10, 2020-

Before New Year's Eve

The celebration actually starts on New Year's Eve with the family reunion dinner. By New Year's Eve, you should have done the following:

Clean the entire home to get rid of all the things that are associated with the old year.

Put away all brooms and brushes.

Pay all your debts.

Resolve differences with family members, friends, neighbors and business associates.

Buy the following:

Red money envelopes,

Oranges and/or tangerines,

Fill a "Cheun hup(a circular red tray separated in eight compartments) with melon seedslotuschocolate coinsnuts etc.

Flowers (especially plum blossoms, peach blossoms, water lilies),

A new set of clothes and shoes for children, preferably something red or orange.

Get new dollar bills from the bank. Insert the new dollar bills into the red envelopes. Now the red envelope is called a lai see or lucky money envelope.

On New Year's Eve

Get together with close family members (not including married daughters and their families) for the "reunion" dinner.

Pay respect to ancestors and household gods. Acknowledge the presence of ancestors because they are responsible for the fortunes of future generations.

On New Year's Day

Decorate your home with symbols of good fortune. Here are some suggestions:

Colors: Bright red (happiness); gold/orange (wealth & happiness).

Fruits: Oranges and tangerines (good health & long life); tangerines with leaves intact (long lasting relationships; being fruitful and multiply); persimmons (happiness and wealth).

"Chuen Hup" circular candy tray (candy for sweet and circular for togetherness and continuity).