Chinese New Year : traditions of Asian women
The Chinese New Year is a very significant holiday for many Asian women and men alike. The holiday is commemorated across the entire Asian region. There are also a lot of traditions being followed by Asians in celebrating this important holiday.
Days Before New Year’s Eve
People in China and other countries with large Chinese populations get busy a few days before New Year’s Eve. They usually clean their houses and housewares several days before the New Year to signify removing the old and welcoming the new. People would also bathe to welcome the New Year. They also follow a religious ceremony on the 23rd or 24th day of the last month of the year, called the “small year.” The belief is that this is the day wherein the food god will leave the family, go to the heavens, and report the activities of the family to the Emperor of the Heavens. The religious ceremony is intended to give the family members a chance to say farewell to the food god. They also take down and burn the paint of the god. After the first day of the New Year, they would purchase new paint of the food god and showcase it in the kitchen.
New Year’s Eve Dinner
In welcoming the New Year, the Chinese hold the traditional New Year’s Eve Dinner. Arguably the most important dinner for them, it serves as a reunion for family members who live away from home. Fish is normally served. In Northern China, the most important dish served is dumplings. Both dishes signify prosperity. While millions across the region welcome the New Year with the customary New Year’s Eve dinner, fireworks also light up the sky. The Chinese believe that doing so would drive away evil.
They believe that the person who launches the first firework of the New Year will be lucky for the remainder of the year. After the New Year’s Eve dinner, family members will normally stay awake during the night. They call this “Shou Sui.” According to Chinese legend, a mystical beast named “Year” comes out every New Year’s Eve to harm people and properties. It was also believed that the said beast is afraid of fire, loud sounds, as well as the color red. Hence, people launch fireworks, light fires, and keep awake the entire night to fend off the mythical creature.
Another tradition that is still being followed in Asia and other parts of the world where there are lots of Chinese is the giving of red packets. This is a red envelope with money in it. Adults usually give the red racket to young children during the first few days of the New Year. They believed that doing so will suppress evil. Days before Asian women welcome the New Year, temporary markets are set up across China and other countries with a large Chinese population. These markets feature goods like clothes, fireworks, decors, foods, and small arts. Lanterns are also sold in these markets.
The Chinese New Year is indeed a big day for many Asian women and their families. Don’t forget to wish your lady well on this important holiday. Send her gifts and flowers to let her know that you remember her on this red-letter day.