Chinese New Year

除夕和新年

Story Behind Lunar New Year Celebration
• Thousands of years ago, that was
ravaged by an evil monster one winter's eve. The following year the monster returned and again ravaged the village. Before it could happen a third time, the villagers devised a plan to scare the monster away. Red banners were hung everywhere; the color red has long been believed to protect against evil. Firecrackers, drums and gongs were used to create loud noises to scare the beast away. The plan worked and the celebration lasted several days during which people visited with each other, exchanged gifts, danced and ate tasty food.

Chinese New Year
• Chinese New Year starts with the New Moon on the first day of the lunar new year and ends on the full moon 15 days later. It is celebrated by Chinese communities across the globe

Chinese Zodiac
• According to Chinese legend, the twelve animals quarreled one day as to who was to head the cycle of years. The gods were asked to decide and they held a contest: whoever was to reach the opposite bank of the river would be first, and the rest of the animals would receive their years according to their finish. All the twelve animals gathered at the river bank and jumped in. Unknown to the ox, the rat had jumped upon his back. As the ox was about to jump ashore, the rat jumped off the ox's back, and won the race. The pig, who was very lazy, ended up last. That is why the rat is the first year of the animal cycle, the ox second, and the pig last.

Rat
• You are imaginative, charming and truly generous to the person you love • 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008

Ox
• A born leader, you inspire confidence from all around you. You are conservative, methodical and good with your hands

• 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009

Tiger
• You are sensitive, emotional and capable of great love • 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010

Rabbit
• You are the kind of person that people like to be aroundaffectionate, obliging, always pleasant • 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011

Dragon
• Full of vitality and enthusiasm, the Dragon is a popular individual even with the reputation of being foolhardy and a "big mouth" at times • 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012

Snake
• Rich in wisdom and charm, you are romantic, deep thinking and your intuition guides you strongly • 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013

Horse
• Your capacity for hard work is amazing. You are your own personvery independent • 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014

Goat
• Except for the knack of always getting off on the wrong foot with people, the Sheep can be charming company • 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015

Monkey
• You are very intelligent and have clever wits because of your extraordinary nature and magnetic personality you are always well-liked

• 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016

Rooster
• The Rooster is a hard worker; shrewd and definite in decision making often speaking his mind • 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017

Dog
• The Dog will never let you down. Born under this sign you are honest and faithful to those you love. • 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018

Pig
• You are a splendid companion -- an intellectual with a very strong need to set difficult goals and carry them out • 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019

Spring Cleaning

Usually the cleaning and preparation starts a month before the new year. The preparation includes thoroughly cleaning and decorating the house, buying new clothes, and preparing enough foods for at least two weeks.

Prior to New Year's Day, Chinese families decorate their living rooms with vases of pretty blossoms, platters of oranges and tangerines and a candy tray with eight varieties of dried sweet fruit. On walls and doors are poetic couplets, happy wishes written on red paper.

Typical house decoration in traditional China

Festive couplets ( 春联 Chun lian)

福到 ( Fu Dao )

Nian Hua ( 年画 )

Nian Hua ( 年画 )

Nian Hua ( 年画 )

莲(连 )年 有鱼( 余) Surplus Through the Years

Gong Xi Fai Chai (Wishing You Prosperity and Wealth)

Paper Cuts

Food Decorations
• • • There are many objects that symbolize good fortune. Candied melon - growth and good health Red melon seed - dyed red to symbolize joy, happiness, truth and sincerity Lychee nut - strong family relationships Cumquat - prosperity (gold) Coconut - togetherness Peanuts - long life Longnan - many good sons Lotus seed - many children

• • • • • •

Flowers
• Flowers symbolize rebirth and new growth. Without them there will be no formation of fruit. Therefore it is essential to have some in every household.

• Dumplings (饺子 Jiao zi) • Sweet Rice Pudding (年糕 nian gao) • Steamed-bread (馒头 man tou) • Whole Fish ( 鱼 Yu) • Others

New year eve dinner

Dumplings ( 饺子 Jiao zi )

Sweet Rice Pudding ( 年糕 Nian gao)

Steamed-bread ( 馒头 man tou)

What Does a typical Reunion Dinner Look Like?

Chinese new year on postage stamp

What we do after dinner
• Cards and board games • Fireworks (Not in Singapore) • Watching television shows • Visit temples & offer prayers

Fire Crackers

New year eve variety show

Yearly cultural show

Dragon Dance

• Hong bao symbolizes luck and good fortune. The red stands for fire to ward off evil, and the money inside represents good luck money.

• This is a traditional hong bao. The top character means ‘Hapiness,’ the other four mean ‘Your every wishes will be

• This hong bao has fish in the background. The characters mean that ‘you will have abundance (of things) every year.’

Custom
• Hong bao are given to younger generations by elderly family, relatives, neighbours, or friends.

New Year Greetings
Lunar New Year is also the time for socializing. People usually wear new clothes and go out to visit and greet their relatives and friends, so the streets are filled with a lot of cheerful people. The greeting and visiting can go on for 15 days, and some may be up to one whole month

Happy Lunar New Year