3★ Dates of Chinese New Year ★The Zodiac★Legend of Chinese New Year★ Customs Before Chinese New Year★ Customs on New Year’s Eve★ Customs on New Year’s Days★ Chinese Lion and Dragon Dance★Chinese New Year Foods★ Lantern Festival★The Traditions of the Lantern Festival
4The first day of the first lunar month is Dates of Chinese Spring FestivalThe first day of the first lunar month isregarded as Chinese New Year / ChineseSpring Festival. It usually falls in the lateJun. or early Feb. The Spring Festival 2011 falls on February 3. Chinese New Year is themost important and ceremonioustraditional festival in China. It is celebratedas a family affair, a time of reunion andblessingsgiving just as Christmas Day to thewesterners.
5It is a 15 day long celebration starting from 1st of the Lunar Calendar, endingon the 15th day, known as theLantern Festival (元宵节)
6The Zodiac Similar to the Western Zodiac of the 12 astrological signs. 12 Zodiac animals: Mouse, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, pig.Coming year：Rabbit (兔子)鼠 牛 虎 兔 龙 蛇马 羊 猴 鸡 狗 猪
7of Legend of Chinese New Year To celebrate the New Year is pronounced GuòNián(过年). There are many versions of legends about GuòNián(过年), one of them is that in ancient China, the Nián (年) was a man-eating beast from the mountains (in other versions from under the sea), which came out every 12 months somewhere close to winter to prey on humans. The people later believed that the Nian was sensitive to loud noises and the colour red, so they scared it away with explosions, fireworks and the liberal use of the colour red. These customs led to the first New Year celebrations. Guò nián (过年), which means to celebrate the new year, literally means the passover of the Nian.
8Customs Before Chinese New Year Sweeping the Dust( 扫尘 )“Dust” is homophonicwith“chen”（尘）inChinese, which meansold and past. In this way,“sweeping the dust”before the Spring Festival means a thorough cleaning of houses to sweep away bad luck in the past year. This custom shows a good wish of putting away old things to welcome a new life.
9年画 People paste door-gods, which are regarded to Customs Before Chinese New YearPeople paste door-gods, which are regarded toprotect the family members a safe and healthy New year. These door-gods are the heroes inChinese ancient legends.年画
10Customs Before Chinese New Year Pasting Spring Couplets(贴春联)“The Spring Couplet is a special form of literature in China. The Spring Couplet is composed of two antithetical(相对应的) sentences on both sides of the door and an inscription(题字), usually an auspiciousphrase, above the gate. On the eve of the Spring Festival, every household will paste on doors spring couplets written on red paper to give a happy and prosperousatmosphere of the Festival.
11Spring couplets on markets Pasting Spring Couplets
12Customs Before Chinese New Year People paste the reversed Chinese character "福" (meansblessing),and hang festive ornaments(Chinese knots,lanterns, paper cutting…) in the hope of praying for auspiciousness in the new Year.
13Customs Before Chinese New Year Chinese Lunar New Year is a time when evil spirits, ill fortune and bad luck are swept out and various observances and activities are taken to welcome the new year. Grudges are forgotten; arguments are settled; old things are thrown out.People buy new clothes, preferably red ones, and get hair cuts to symbolize a fresh start for the new year.About two decades ago, people prepared New Year’s food 10 days before the New Year, most of them were homemade. However now, people purchase some food in stores.
15Customs on New Year’s Eve Before midnight families traditionally have made offerings to theirancestors, which is the way Chinese people show respect to theirancestorsIncense is burned at the graves of ancestors as part of the offering and prayer ritualNew Year at a temple
16Customs on New Year’s Eve Family Reunion DinnerOn the New Year's Eve, people work far away from home will manage to come back, regardless of long-distance travel, which causes great transportation burden every year, so the "Grand Dinner on New Year's Eve" is also called "Family Reunion Dinner".Whatever the financial condition is, every familywill make the dinner the most sumptuous andceremonious one in the year. Hostesses will fetchout foodstuffs prepared in early time and all familymembers will sit together and make dumplings injollification.
17People are purchasing tickets for going home in crowded railway stations
19Customs on New Year’s Eve In these years, more and more people have the family union dinners in restaurants,ratherthan athome, regardlessthe expensivecost.
20The firecracker is a unique product in China. Burning Firecrackers放鞭炮At twelve o'clock, when a new year drives off the old, every family will shoot off firecrackers to greet new days and send off old ones.The firecracker is a unique product in China.In ancient China, the sound of burning bambootubes was used to scare away wild animals and evil spirits. “firecracker” is also called “鞭炮biānpào” and used to create a joyful atmosphere.Customs on New Year’s Eve
22Customs on New Year’s Eve Staying Up Late on New Year's Eve(守岁shǒusuì)The tradition of staying up late to greet New Year is originated from an interesting folk tale. In ancient China there lived a terrible monster named Year (nian). Year always went out from its burrow(洞穴) on New Year’s Eve to eat people. Therefore, on every New Year’s Eve, every household would have supper together. After dinner, no one dared go to sleep and all the family members would sit together, chatting and emboldening each other. Gradually the habit of staying up late on New Year’s Eve is formed. Thus in China, “celebrating the Spring Festival” is also called “passing over the year (guo nian)”.
23Customs on New Year’s Eve Watching CCTV New Year's GalaA customs has come being these years in China. On New Year’s eve, people watch the CCTV New Year’s Gala when they have the family reunion dinner and stay up late for the new year.New Year’s Gala is a variety show held by China Central Television (CCTV) since Forevery year at the turn of the Lunar New Year,the program begins at 8:00PM and lasts five orsix hours. It brings laughter to billions ofpeople and creates many popular words. Forover twenty years, its value has gone far beyond a variety show. It is essential entertainment for the Chinese both at home and abroad.
25Customs on New Year’s Days New Year's Visit and Gift Money(拜年和压岁钱 )On the first day of the Chinese lunar year, everybody puts on their best clothes and pays formal calls on their relatives and friends, wishing them all the luck in the coming year. Juniors will greet seniors, wishing them health and longevity(长寿), while seniors will give juniors some gift money as a wish for their safety in the coming year. When friends meet, they will wisheach other happiness and prosperity witha big smile..
26Customs on New Year’s Days People say the following auspicious phrases to each other when they pay a New year visit.过年好(ɡuò nián hǎo)！Happy New Year!恭喜发财(ɡōnɡ xǐ fā cái)! May you be prosperousWith the development of the new technology, there is a change on the way of giving New Years greetings. In recent year, it is common to send New Years greetings by such modern means of communication as telephones, s and text messages
27红包(hónɡbāo) red pockets 拜年(bàinián)pay New Year vistis
28Customs on New Year’s Days TaboosIt is believed that on the first day of New Year, attention should be paid to ensure not to break up anything, or else one will miss good fortunes in the whole year, not to say dirty / unpropitious words , or one will get bad luck in the new year; and that sweeping the floor is regarded to sweep off wealth and drive away good luck .
29Customs on New Year’s Days The Second DayTraditionally, the second day of Chinese New Year is for married daughter and her husband to visit the house of her parents, taking lots of gifts and red pockets with them.The Third to the Seventh DayFrom the third day to the seventh day, people go out to visit relatives and friends, having dinner, parties, fun…The Eight DayThe eight day is the end of the official New Year Holiday and people will go to work on this day. All of government agencies and business will stop celebrating on the eighth day.The Fifteenth DayThe fifteenth Day of the New Year is the Yuanxiao (Lantern Festival), which marks the end of the Spring Festival celebrations.
30Chinese Lion and Dragon Dance The Chinese New Year celebration always includes a traditional Lion and Dragon dance.Dragons are considered good luck according to Chinese traditions, and the Lion and Dragon dance is done each New Year to chase away evil spirits that can interfere with success and auspiciousness, has been an important part of drawing luck to the community since the Han Dynasty nearly two-thousand years ago.People will gather during the festival to watch the Lion and Dragon dance to help drive out old negativity and bring in great successes for the future.
32Chinese New Year FoodsChinese New Year Foods are very important to Chinese people.All family members come together to eat at this time. Chinese New Year foods are not only delicious but it is traditional to eat certain foods over this festival. Chinese Dumplings, Fish, Spring Rolls, Nian Gao are usually seen as delicious and eaten at this time.
33Chinese Dumplings look like silver ingots. Legend has it that the more dumplings you eat during New Year celebration, more money you can make in the New Year. Almost all Chinese people can make dumplings, first mix the dough, second make the dough into wrappers by a rolling pin, third fill thewrappers with pork, beef,vegetable, fish or anythingelse can be used as stuffingChinese Dumplings
34Chinese New Year FoodsIn Chinese, Fish sounds like "save more". Chinese People always like save more money at the end of year because they think if they save more, they can make more in the next year.Fish
35Chinese New Year Foods Spring Roll People like Spring Roll because they are nutritious and delicious. Spring Rolls contain pork and vegetable. They can be easily taken on picnics. They get their name because they are traditionally eaten during Chinese New Year Celebration.Spring Roll
36Chinese New Year Foods Nian Gao In Chinese, Nian Gao sounds like "getting higher year by year". In Chinese people's mind, the higher you are, the more prosperous your business is. Main ingredients of Nian Gao are sticky rice, sugar, Chestnuts, Chinese date and lotus leaves.Nian Gao
37Lantern FestivalThe fifteenth day of the new year iscelebrated as the Lantern Festival Yuánxiāo jié (元宵节). It has been a part of New Year’s celebrations in China for many centuries. Some people believe that the festival began during the Han Dynasty, while others believe the festival is far older
38The Traditions of the Lantern Festival Rice dumplings tānɡyuán ( 汤圆), a sweet glutinous rice ball brewed in a soup, is eaten this day. Lanterns are hang, often made from red paper. Candles are lit outside houses as a way to guide wayward spirits home. And families walk the street carrying lighted lanterns. More people attend a community lighting event. Guessing riddles which are put on lanterns is also an very important activity for lighting events.There is the belief that the more rice dumplings that you eat, the more money you will make in the upcoming year, and your life in the upcoming year will be as sweet and satisfactory as the rice dumplings.This day often marks the end of the Chinese New Year festivities