Selasa, 26 Januari 2010

Chinese New Year – The biggest and most important of all events in China

The most important event in all of China, the marking of the New Year on the lunar calendar is an event that brings about massive celebrations throughout the nation. The upcoming Chinese New Year is set to fall on the 26th of January 2010 and visitors to the country will be privy to a host of Chinese culture and celebrations put on display. When it comes to Chinese tradition the city of Xiamen and the surrounding hillside are famous for representing Chinese heritage and the New Year is no exception to this rule.

To celebrate the Chinese New Year a special festival known as the Lantern Festival is put on each year during the respective date. Interestingly Chinese New Year unlike its traditional counterpart is celebrated over a period of over 2 weeks (15 days) in which the festival is held.

The streets of Xiamen come to life with the instantly recognisable traditional Chinese red lanterns which are draped around the streets on the last day of the festival. Other items that can be seen include Chinese knots and Chinese calligraphy displaying popular Chinese idioms.

Parades featuring dragon and lion like creatures make their way through the roads with dancers and other performers providing stimulating visuals that are quite unmistakeably Chinese to all observers. These parades are accompanied with the beating of a Chinese drum which is meant to drive away evil spirits. Fortune Gods also make an appearance in static images that are located in various locations in cities across the nation.

During the festival locals will exchange gifts and undertake the time honoured activity of cleaning their homes which is also meant to wash away the bad luck of the previous year allowing good luck to take its place for the coming one. The windows and doors of houses are also decorated with red coloured couplets (traditional wall hangings) and paper cuttings, echoing themes of wealth, happiness and longevity.

China being a nation renowned for its fireworks tradition does not shy away during the biggest celebratory event of the year and the skies of Xiamen and the rest of China come to life with creations of all colours and shapes.

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Traditionally red packets are also handed out to younger generation by their parents, grand parents, relatives, and even close neighbors and friends during Chinese New Year. Nowadays giving red packets as a bonus at the year-end by employers becomes popular and Chinese new year parcel is also a tradition of giving to business associates or relatives.

Giving Chinese new year parcel to employees prior to the New Year is also a good idea. This can be either a gift or a bonus. If it is as a gift, the money should be just right for a gift. If as a bonus, you may enclose a check in the parcel gift and hand it out in an office.

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