Monday, January 20, 2014

How the Chinese Prepare for the New Year

With the New Year quickly approaching, the Chinese are very busy preparing their house for the incoming celebrations. Due to the extensive history and culture behind this holiday, many people participate in all the traditional rituals leading up to this special time such as cleaning, shopping, cooking, and more. 

Many hours of cleaning are required to get the house ready for the holiday, believing that cleansing one's home sweeps away any bad fortune. Although cleaning is an important aspect of the New Year's traditions, it is only in the few weeks approaching the holiday where it is necessary- once New Year's Eve has arrived it is critical that all cleaning comes to a halt, due to the belief that after its arrival, any further cleaning will sweep away the incoming good fortune. Once the house is spotless, people hang chunlian, or paper couplets, in their doorways to encourage good luck to enter their home. 

Next, one must go shopping to purchase all the necessary items to make their New Year celebrations festive and special. The first items to check off on the list? The food of course! 

In addition to groceries, one must purchase themselves a new outfit to ring in the New Year, preferably red! Once you have treated yourself, it is time to treat your friends and family! Purchases of gifts and red envelops to put money in to exchange with loved ones are common in preparation for the celebration of the New Year. 

Also, if you are considering getting a haircut anytime soon, it is vital you do it before the New Year has arrived! Why? Because cutting anything, even your hair, is considered bad luck during New Years celebrations. 

Participation in these cultural rituals will assure any celebrators a happy and luck-filled Chinese New Year! 

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