I am especially excited to introduce you today’s Friday Sharing: Celebrating Spring Festival in China! I was born in the year of Horse (many glamorous years ago!) and this is the 2nd time I am seeing China celebrating the year of Horse since I moved here nearly 13 years ago.
As you might already know, Spring Festival, also known as Chinese New Year, is celebrated according to the Lunar Calendar. It is usually the most exciting and the most festive time all over Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Many countries in the world where Chinese population is large (e.g. Canada and the USA), also get to enjoy these festivities as even though Chinese born abroad might not even speak Mandarin or Cantonese, but they all grow up with honouring this special day once a year (more like 1-2 weeks), which is the time to be with the family, cook and eat together, give gifts, get new clothes, haircuts and fill the air with the loud sounds of fireworks.
Every year it is amazing how much creativity people put into the decorations. Even if logically you’d think people might use the same ones every 12 years, but no, they use different ones, more colorful, more beautiful.
San Ma Lu Square in Macau, decorated and ready for festivities
Right after the Gregorian New Year was over, the whole city quickly redecorated: Christmas trees were taken down and all over the city you could see flowers being brought out and planted in front and inside every park, school, compound and along the roadsides. The city was getting ready to embrace Spring!
Shopping Mall (Photo Credit: our friend Neo)
The shopping malls put up the decorations, there are tons of promotions and closer to the Spring Festival date the crowds become huge as people are busy buying presents to take to friends and relatives houses. Traditionally they are neverending snacks, cookies, seeds, meat jerky, sausages, fruit baskets, various drinks and more!
Beautifully decorated tables at the restaurants (Photo credit: our friend Eva)
People go out to eat before and after the actual Spring Festival. Most of the families prefer to stay in on the eve of the New Year, but some book the rooms and tables at the restaurants way ahead of time in order to treat those who are dear and important to them.
Homemade Chinese dumplings (Photo credit: Our friend Phoebe)
While in every province traditional food for Spring Festival varies, one type is always the same – dumplings. Families spend hours and hours preparing dumplings with so many delicious fillings: meat and cabbage, meat and celery, meat and zucchini, eggs and shrimp, eggs and spring onions, and more!
New crispy Chinese Yuan notes (Photo credit: our friend Kathy)
If you have some bank work to do close to Chinese New Year, get ready to be in the line for a while: it is traditional to give out red envelops with crispy new money notes to newborns, children, newly weds, employees and single people. Since you can’t really get these via ATM machines, people physically spend time in lines to exchange the old ones to new or withdraw from their accounts.
Modern style snacks given to children and red envelops
I must say Chinese are very generous by nature. You can hear many things and jokes about their practical minds. However, all our friends and parents of our students are genuinely kind and appreciative of one another. I can’t talk about it enough and we also appreciate how pure-hearted in fact people around us are.
Have you ever celebrated Chinese New Year with your family?
Here are some posts from fellow Multicultural Bloggers on their ways of celebrating this wonderful and colorful Festival:
Miss Panda Chinese:
Creative World of Varya:
Kid World Citizen:
Crafty Moms Share:
Kids Yoga Stories:
Laugh and Learn:
Varya blogs at Creative World of Varya. She is a mom to 2 girls, and a baby on the way, early development specialist, baby massage and perinatal fitness instructor, breastfeeding consultant. Varya has been living in China for the past 13 years working and raising her multicultural family.