Kamis, 14 Januari 2010

Chinese New Year Celebrations

The Chinese New Year history is rich and diverse. This year the Chinese New Year is on February 8th.The Chinese New Year is very similar to the Western one, wrapped in traditions and rituals. The history of the Chinese New Year is so old that its origins are lost in the mists of time. It is popularly recognized as the Spring Festival and celebrations last 15 days.It is said that in ancient times, the feudal rulers placed great importance on Chinese New Year celebrations and organized grand ceremonies to mark this event.

Preparations tend to begin a month from the date of the Chinese New Year as people start buying presents, decoration materials, food and clothing. A huge clean-up gets underway days before the New Year , when Chinese houses are cleaned from top to bottom, to sweep away any traces of bad luck, and doors and windowpanes are given a new coat of paint, usually red. The doors and windows are then decorated with paper cuts and couplets with themes such as happiness, wealth and longevity printed on them.

In the history it's mentioned that Chinese peasants eagerly wait for this day because it is on this day that the kitchen God is supposed to depart away to the lord of heaven (known as to the Jade Emperor) to report about the family. During his absence-that is, the period in which He leaves the kitchen only to return in the New Year -the family members clean up the house and make a fresh start to welcome the God as well as the new promising year.

Historically speaking, the Chinese New Year Day has practically been regarded as the only day of the year when China's hard-working peasants allowed themselves to rest.

The eve of the Chinese New Year is perhaps the most exciting part of the event in the history of time, as anticipation creeps in. Here, traditions and rituals are very carefully observed in everything from food to clothing. Dinner is usually a feast of seafood and dumplings, signifying different good wishes. Delicacies include prawns, for liveliness and happiness, dried oysters (or ho xi), for all things good, raw fish salad or yu sheng to bring good luck and prosperity.

It's usual to wear something red as this color is meant to ward off evil spirits - but black and white are out, as these are associated with mourning. After dinner, the family sit up for the night playing cards, board games or watching TV programmes dedicated to the occasion. At midnight, fireworks to mark the Chinese New Year welcome light up the sky.

On the Chinese New Year day itself in history , an ancient custom called Hong Bao, meaning Red Packet, takes place. This involves married couples giving children and unmarried adults money in red envelopes. Then the family begins to wish greetings from door to door, first to their relatives and then their neighbours. Like the Western saying "let bygones be bygones," at Chinese New Year , grudges are very easily cast aside.

The end of the New Year is marked by the Festival of Lanterns, which is a celebration with singing, dancing and lantern shows.

Nowadays giving red packets as a bonus at the year-end by employers becomes popular and Imlek Parcel is also a tradition of giving to business associates or relatives.

chinese new year tradition in the office environment also marked by Giving Imlek 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.

Although celebrations of the Chinese New Year vary, the underlying message is one of peace and happiness for family members and friends.


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