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The least customs you should know about Spring Festival

Updated: Feb 23, 2022

Starting on February 1st, the spring festival of the year 2022 will end on February 15th. You might not know that each day of the 15-day festival has some specific and traditional customs and typical activities to follow. Many Chinese people don't even know due to society's evolution and geographical & cultural difference.

Here I summarize the least things and significant activities you should know about the festival.

1. The eve of spring festival

On the last day before the spring festival, people usually paste spring couplets, New Year's Painting, and other paper cutting on the doors and the windows. It's like western people place the Christmas tree at home and decorate their houses with Christmas decorations.

Interestingly, people prefer to paste the paper cutting of "Fu(福 happiness&good fortune)" upside down. There is a phonetic and semantic pun linked to their deliberate action. The reverse "Fu" is associated with the Chinese phrase "Fu Dao (Happiness coming)" as Dao is the pronunciation for both "倒(Upside-down)" and "到(coming)"

And the second important thing on that day is having New Year's eve dinner with reunited family members. Elders will give lucky money packed in the red envelope to the children, representing their best wishes to their offspring. People would like to give lucky money the next day in some area.

Meanwhile, folks will sleep in late and let off the fireworks after 0 a.m. to celebrate the new round of the lunar calendar. Firework is used for scaring away wild animals or evils in history. However, as the probation of firework implemented in the urban area (concerning the preservation of the environment), beautiful firework shows are more active in rural villages and towns.

2. Day One

It's not strange to get woke up by the loud noise of firecrackers to start the new day. The first thing that "Early birds" will do is to set off the firecrackers to give their warm welcome to the first day of the new year. Dressing up the new cloth cannot be more suitable to do on this day.

Although there are many regional customs, it is quite common for people to stop using besom on that day. It is said that Day One is the birthday of the besom. Doing cleaning work will sweep away people's fortune of the year.

Also, people don't do hair as it would bring bad luck to their uncles, which is another interesting pun.

3. Day Two

On the second day of the Lunner New Year, folks usually visit their in-laws, accompanying them. It's a special day for the wives as usually people celebrate New Year in the households of the husband side.

4. Day Three

People usually don't go out on that day. Avoiding visiting friends or family relatives is recommended. Historically, it is said that the devil, Chikou, will come out and bring disputes among people.

5. Day Five

Parts of southern China welcome the God of wealth on the fifth day. Rites and ceremonies vary according to different sub-cultures.

6. Day Eight

The eighth day of the beginning of the year is the start of the workday. Employees are gradually starting to go back to their work again. In the Cantonese area, employers will give out lucky money to their employees to encourage them in the new round of the year.

7. Day Fifteen

The day is the last day of the spring festival, also called the Lantern Festival. Customs activities mainly are lighting lanterns, observing lanterns, setting off fireworks, etc. Eating rice dumplings wrapped with sweet stuffing is the typical tradition on this day.

Amidst Day one and Day fifteen, there are also many regional ceremonies, open markets, temple fairs, parades to celebrate the spring festival, welcoming the Gods and sending away the devils. However, they might not be the common sense of the national people. If you are interested, you can discover more exciting stuff by yourself through the internet.

Feel free to share the custom you think is interesting in the comment.

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