Friday, February 09, 2007

Dumplings, Fireworks and Family

Spring Festival is one of the most significant holidays in China.

It is mostly about

food (dumplings),

Year of the Monkey

fireworks (noisy)

Year of the Monkey

and family (connected)

Family in Beijing

We are now (still) in the year of the Dog (year mostly auspicious for marriages) and are barking our way into the year of the Golden Pig (auspicious for having children, and great financial rewards).

Wild Bore Where Art Thou?
Year of the Bore (Pig) 18.2.2007 - 7.2.2008.

This festival is recorded in the lunar calendar which has been (sadly) failing us recently. It used to predict weather changes so precisely, like a prophecy recorded at the beginning of this ancient culture.

Looking back, there are some basic rituals that are still kept as part of tradition for most families.

Fireworks start rocking day and night even a week before the actual festival begings. This way bad spirits fearfully leave humans alone.

Children receive 'hong bao' (red envelope) with money inside. That way community provides support to all families so everybody gets to celebrate to their heart's delight. Hong bao is also given at weddings, birthdays etc.

Hong bao given at the ceremony of apprentice acceptance into the 6th generation of
Liu Xu Yang Sifu's Xing Yi Bagua School
(Year of the Dog)

Families are visited on appointed days - I usually get confused about the order and 'must'. Here is what it says on

The second day of the Chinese New Year is usually for visiting the family of the wife if a couple is married. A large feast is also typically held on the second day of the Chinese New Year. The seventh day of the Chinese New Year celebration is traditionally everyone's birthday, the day when everyone grows one year older. It is also the day when tossed fish salad, yusheng, is eaten. People get together to toss the colorful salad and make wishes for continued wealth and prosperity in the new year.

To read more about Spring Festival check the link Spring Festival Today

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