2 Chinese New Year Summary Decoration Entertainment Special food Traditions
3 Chinese New YearAccording to the Chinese calendar, the New Moon on the first day of the new year -- the full moon 15 days later. The Day is the Chinese Lunar New Year, also Spring Festival.
4 Guò Nián 过 年New Year's Eve and New Year's Day are celebrated as a family affair, a time of reunion and thanksgiving. The celebration was traditionally highlighted with a religious ceremony given in honor of Heaven and Earth, the gods of the household and the family ancestors.
5 The sacrifice to the ancestors, the most vital of all the rituals, united the living members with those who had passed away. Departed relatives are remembered with great respect because they were responsible for laying the foundations for the fortune and glory of the family.
8 On the Chinese New Year, families in China decorate their front doors with poetic couplets of calligraphy written with fragrant India ink, expressing the feeling of life's renewal and the return of spring.
9 Chun lian is a special type of Duilian, or couplet Chun lian is a special type of Duilian, or couplet. It is used only during the Chinese New Year as part of its celebration. While duilian is permanent, chunlian is a temporary decoration to be placed on the entrance of the house, somewhat akin to Halloween and Christmas decorations.
10 Duilian comprises of a couplet written on vertical strips of red paper in the best calligraphic style one can muster.The first (called upper) line is posted on the right side of the front door.The second (called lower) line is posted on the left side of the front door.
11 In addition, a third horizontal piece may be posted across and on top the door. Typically, the chun lian writes an happy, hopeful, uplifting message about a better New Year to come, like this one:
13 Word-for-word translation of above: Top (Horizontal across) : Whole Earth Returns Spring Left (Vertical) line : winter gone mountain clear water sparklesRight (Vertical) line: Spring comes bird sings flower fragrantNote that word for word, the upper and lower lines are antithetical, yet the meanings are complementary and content of the message is hopeful and uplifting. The words in the horizontal are written from left to right.
14 In addition to pasting couplets on both sides and above the main door, it is also common to hang calligraphic writing of the Chinese characters for "spring," "wealth," and "blessing." Some people will even invert the drawings of blessing since the Chinese for "inverted" is a homonym in Chinese for "arrive," thus signifying that spring, wealth, or blessing has arrived.