- 1 Part I. General introduction of Spring Festival – The Chinese/lunar New Year
- 2 Part II. New Year and Spring Festival, which one do Chinese people take more seriously?
- 3 Part III. Chinese zodiacs/Animal signs
- 4 Part IV. The custom of the Spring Festival and its difference between South China and North China
- 4.1 Minor Spring Festival: festival on the 23rd or 24th of the 12th month of the lunar year, when sacrifices are made to the kitchen god
- 4.2 The New Year Eve on the lunar calendar: on the 30th of the twelfth month of the lunar year. Time to enjoy a New Year’s Eve dinner and defending the beast “Sui岁” together with your family.
- 4.3 Customs on New Year’s Day of lunar calendar: Open the door and set off firecrackers to celebrate the New Year; sending best wishes to others
- 4.4 Customs on the second day of the New Year on lunar calendar: Let the wives back to their parents home
- 4.5 Customs on the fifth day of the Lunar New Year: hide from villains and welcome the god of wealth
- 5 Part V. Which countries in the world celebrate the Spring Festival as China does?
- 6 Part VI. The most common auspicious blessing for the Spring Festival of 2021
Part I. General introduction of Spring Festival – The Chinese/lunar New Year
The first day of the first lunar month is the Spring Festival, beginning a new year for China. Spring Festival is an ancient and grand traditional Chinese festival, China’s biggest extravaganza, and a day for a family reunion. Being around family members at the turn of the year is a vital ritual for the Chinese people. Many of those living away from their hometowns return home during Spring Festival, which gives rise to what’s called “the largest annual human migration in the world,” also known as the “Spring Festival travel rush.”
The Spring Festival starts from the 23rd or 24th of the 12th lunar month.
The Spring Festival celebration is continuous, starting from the 23rd or 24th of the 12th lunar month. People often worship the Kitchen God, clean houses, do shopping (买东西 mǎi dōng xī ) and put up Spring Festival couplets (blessing words posted on door frames) until New Year’s Eve (often called Chuxi in Chinese; also called as Da Nian Ye or Da Nian San Shi) on the lunar calendar. From the first day of the New Year, friends and relatives will visit each other. The younger generations visit the elder with gifts. The elder also gives a red envelope, the lucky money to the youth.
Legend of the custom of Spring Festival
These customs can be traced back to a Chinese legend. In ancient times, a monster named Nian would come out and harm the world by the end of each lunar year. People then took measures to send the monster away, such as putting up red couplets as Nian detested the color red and setting off fireworks and firecrackers at their doors to scare it away.
What You Need to Do during the Spring Festival
In addition to staying up late on New Year’s Eve, having a New Year’s Eve dinner and watching the Spring Festival Gala are two important customs of Spring Festival. New Year’s Eve dinner is manifested in different ways in different parts of China. Those in South China must have a fish dish because “fish” in Chinese sounds similar to the character of “prosperity,” symbolizing an abundant and comfortable life. Those in North China often eat dumplings, which symbolize “reunion” and “fortune.”
The Spring Festival Gala
The Spring Festival Gala is a variety of TV programs broadcast annually to celebrate the lunar New Year. The Gala attracts the largest audience of any entertainment show globally and runs for more than four hours, making it the longest TV show in the world. It is often hailed as a cultural feast for Chinese people on New Year’s Eve.
What is Red envelope?
There is also a custom of giving and receiving red envelopes or红包(hóng bāo). Traditionally, adults placed gift money into red envelopes and gave them to the children to wish them peace and good luck in the coming year. Nowadays, with the popularization of mobile payment in China, it is a trend to send red envelopes digitally, not only in the Spring Festival but also on other festivals such as Valentine’s Day or special days like the birthday of someone you love. The internet can deliver New Year’s wishes to each loved one, even if they are thousands of miles away.
The Lantern Festival marks the end of the lunar New Year
The joyous atmosphere of Chinese New Year will linger until the first full moon of the first lunar month. Then the Lantern Festival is celebrated, which is bound to be another busy day.
Part II. New Year and Spring Festival, which one do Chinese people take more seriously?
Why don’t the Chinese celebrate New Year’s Day on the same day as the westerns calendar does?
Chinese people usually talk about New Year’s Day as the first day of every year in the Western calendar. It has been more than 100 years since China switched to the Western calendar in 1912. However, traditional Chinese festivals, including the lunar Spring Festival, are still following the lunar calendar. For many Chinese people, only when a traditional festival is about to approach and celebrated will they check the lunar calendar to confirm the date of the festival. We Chinese take this for granted, but in fact, fewer countries will stick to their own calendar on festivals for so long. If the festival time can be changed with the adaption of the new calendar, it may get more convenient for people to arrange and celebrate the festivals. For example, Japan also celebrates the Qi Xi Festival, one of the Traditional Chinese Festivals, but their Qi Xi festival is fixed on July 7th in the Western calendar.
So why do Chinese people stick to the lunar calendar so much on festivals?
The reason is that Chinese festivals originate from the concept of seasons, especially the concept of 24 solar terms. Each traditional Chinese festival has a profound seasonal significance. The season and solar terms are also crucial in Chinese culture, and it is related to all aspects of Chinese people’s life and even the country’s politics and religion.
1. Chinese Festivals are Based on Solar Terms
In Chinese, “festival” is translated as “节日jié rì.” However, the meaning of “节日jié rì” in China is very different from that in Western society. In the West, festivals are generally to commemorate a certain event in history. For example, Christmas is to commemorate the birth of Jesus, Easter is to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus, and Labor Day is to commemorate the laborers’ parade in 1890. This is not the case in China, where festivals mainly represent an important season. For example, Qingming (Clear and Bright) means the spring atmosphere is getting stronger, Mid-Autumn Festival represents the midpoint time of autumn, and Chongyang (Double-nine) Festival means the refreshing and cools days in autumn.
Therefore, according to the particular weather indicated by the Chinese festivals, people will choose outgoing activities in the Qingming Festival, appreciating the pretty round full moon scenery with the joy of autumn harvest in the Mid-Autumn Festival and hiking on hills on the day of the Chongyang Festival. These activities are all related to a specific season. If these Chinese festivals changed their time to follow the western calendar, it would mess with all these activities. For example, it would be too hot and no such a refreshing feeling to hike on the September 9th of the western calendar.
Introduction of the 24 Solar Terms
More than 2,000 years ago, ancient Chinese people created an overall framework to mark the annual passage of time based on observations of the sun’s motion, called “The 24 Solar Terms”. In the international meteorological field, the 24 solar terms are hailed as “the fifth great invention of China.” In 2016, the 24 solar terms were included in the UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The 24 solar terms are Start of Spring, Rain Water, Insects Awaken, Spring Equinox, Clear and Bright, Grain Rain, Start of Summer, Grain Buds, Grain in Ear, Summer Solstice, Minor Heats, Major Heats, Start of Autumn, The End of Heat, White Dew, Autumn Equinox, Cold Dew, Frost’s Descent, Start of Winter, Minor Snow, Major Snow, Winter Solstice, Minor Cold and Major Cold.
Summer Solstice and Winter Solstice are the two days of the year with the longest and shortest amount of daylight, respectively, while Spring Equinox and Autumn Equinox are days with the most balanced daytime and nighttime. Through these four points, a year is divided into four parts: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.
In ancient times, this system not only guided agricultural production, instructing farmers to expect the changes in temperature, spring planting, and autumn harvest but also directed Chinese folk customs. For example, Winter Solstice was the first one coined among the 24 solar terms and later evolved into a festival to worship Heaven and ancestors. In the past, every year at Winter Solstice, emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1912) would go to the Temple of Heaven to hold a ceremony to worship Heaven, praying for good weather for their crops and peace and prosperity for the country.
Nowadays, the 24 solar terms could be applied to farming and guide the Chinese in everyday life. They remind people to adapt to the changes in the seasons through suitable foods and cultural rituals. Seasonal customs are still the rage, such as eating spring pancakes at the Start of Spring, sweeping ancestors’ tombs at Qingming (Clear and Bright), gaining weight to keep warm at the start of Autumn, and eating nutritious food to store energy at the start of Winter. They have actually become indispensable rituals in Chinese life.
With the deepening of people’s understanding of traditional culture, products inspired by the 24 solar terms have emerged, including creative cuisines and designs.
This ancient time system has gained new charm and vitality in the new ear. The 24 solar terms are a common cognitive system among the Chinese. It reflects the Chinese’s emotional bond, wisdom, and creativity, who respect and live in harmony with nature. It has a profound impact on the way people think and their codes of conduct.
2. The meaning of “过年guò nián,” which is also known as the Spring Festival, for Chinese people
Chinese New Year means “Farewell to the old past and welcomes the new future,” so the New Year’s Eve is called “Chuxi Eve除夕chú xī” and the first day of the New Year is called “New Year Day元日yuán rì.”
In terms of seasons, the Chinese New Year symbolizes the passing of winter and the arrival of spring, the revival of all things, and the renewal of all things. Back in the time, the government was unwilling to recognize the status of “Lunar Chinese New Year,” so they rename this traditional festival as the “Spring Festival,” which is still used today.
This new name is appropriate, though. Usually, the weather is still freezing during the Spring Festival, and sometimes it would even snow heavily. However, in Chinese people’s minds, this is a festival of welcoming the spring season, so even the weather is freezing cold, people still take this festival as a festival for springtime.
Therefore, again, if all traditional Chinese festivals are changed to follow the western calendar, the Lunar New Year, the Spring Festival will be too far away from the spring season, and maybe there will be no round full moon for appreciation on the Mid-Autumn Festival. Even festivals that do not rely on the seasons, such as the Qixi Festival, make people feel less cultural heritage.
Because the Spring Festival is calculated according to the lunar calendar, the Gregorian calendar date corresponding to the Spring Festival is different every year. The lunar New Year’s Eve in 2021 is February 11, and February 22 is the first day of the lunar New Year, which is the year of OX.
2021 is the year of the OX. Why is it an OX this year? Why can’t it be other animals? This involves the content of the 12 Chinese zodiacs/Animal signs.
Part III. Chinese zodiacs/Animal signs
What’s your sign? In Western astrology, it’s a constellation determined by when your birthday falls in the calendar. But according to the Chinese zodiac or 生肖 shēngxiào, it’s your 属相 shǔxiàng, meaning the animal assigned to your birth year.
And of the many myths explaining these animal signs and their arrangement, the most enduring one is that of the Great Race. As the story goes, Yù Dì, or Jade Emperor, Ruler of the Heavens, wanted to devise a way to measure time, so he organized a race. The first twelve animals to make it across the river would earn a spot on the zodiac calendar in the order they arrived. The rat rose with the sun to get an early start, but he met the horse, the tiger, and the ox on the way to the river. Because the rat was small and couldn’t swim very well, he asked the bigger animals for help. While the tiger and horse refused, the kind-hearted ox agreed to carry the rat across. Yet, just as they were about to reach the other side, the rat jumped off the ox’s head and secured first place. The ox came in second, with the powerful tiger right behind him. The rabbit, too small to battle the current, nimbly hopped across stones and logs to come in fourth. Next came the dragon, who could have flown directly across but stopped to help some creatures she had encountered on the way. After she came to the horse, galloping across the river. But just as she got across, the snake slithered by. The startled horse reared back, letting the snake sneak into sixth place. The Jade Emperor looked out at the river and spotted the sheep, the monkey, and the rooster all atop a raft, working together to push it through the weeds. When they made it across, the trio agreed to give eighth place to the sheep, who had been the most comforting and harmonious of them, followed by the monkey and the rooster. Next came the dog, scrambling onto the shore. He was a great swimmer but frolicked in the water for so long that he only managed to come in eleventh. The pig claimed the final spot, which had gotten hungry and stopped eating and napping before finally waddling across the finish line. And so, each year is associated with one of the animals in this order, with the cycle starting over every 60 years.
Why 60 and not twelve? Because the traditional Chinese calendar is made up of two overlapping systems. The animals of the zodiac are associated with what’s called the Twelve Earthly Branches, or shí’èrzhī. Another system, the Ten Heavenly Stems, or tiāngān, is linked with the five classical elements of metal, jīn, wood, mù, water, shuǐ, fire, huǒ, and earth, tǔ. Each element is assigned yīn or yáng, creating a ten-year cycle. When the twelve animals of the Earthly Branches are matched with the five elements plus the yīn or the yáng of the Heavenly Stems, it creates 60 years of different combinations, known as a sexagenary cycle, or gānzhī. Someone born in 1980 would have the sign of yáng metal monkey, while someone born in 2007 would be yīn fire pig. In fact, you can also have an inner animal based on your birth month, a true animal based on your birth date, and a secret animal based on your birth hour.
Reference Reading: Top 3 zodiac signs with the best fortune in 2021
- The zodiac Rooster
The zodiac Rooster and the zodiac ox are a triad. The fortune of the Rooster is still splendid in 2021. The Rooster is naturally smart and wit, no matter how personally talented; they are still outstanding in social methods. Coupled with the blessing of a large number of lucky stars this year and the presence of noble people around them, they can get a lot of help in their career and improve their fortune.
The Zodiac Rooster itself is full of energy. The only flaw is that it spends too much money and is not focused on relationships, which leads to a little trouble in life.
- The zodiac Rat
The rat people have a good fortune this year. They have shrewd personalities and are always methodical in their work. And in terms of interpersonal relationships, they have super management ability, which gives people a sense of exquisiteness.
The zodiac Rat has been in the workplace this year. Both their main income and side income are very prosperous. In addition to the main business, there are side business blessings. Wealth development is excellent.
- The zodiac Snake
The fortune of zodiac Snake in 2021 is going very well. People with zodiac Snake are very calm and can calmly deal with difficulties even in an emergency. When things go wrong, the zodiac Snake can deal with it easily. If it goes well, the zodiac Snake can make a big splash. 2021 is a good year for career development for zodiac snakes. The zodiac snake can be promoted and get raised easily by performing and working with normal standard efficiency. There will be many new career opportunities for the zodiac Snake in 2021.
Part IV. The custom of the Spring Festival and its difference between South China and North China
The Spring Festival is a traditional festival handed down in China for thousands of years, and it is also the most solemn day of the year, so there are many particular customs. These customs contain the Chinese extensive and profound culture for thousands of years and will continue to be passed on to Chinese descendants in the future.
Because of differences in climate and diet, the customs of the Spring Festival in the North and South of China will be slightly different. In the following part, let’s learn about the customs of the Chinese New Year together and find out what the differences are in the customs of the Spring Festival between North and South of China.
Minor Spring Festival: festival on the 23rd or 24th of the 12th month of the lunar year, when sacrifices are made to the kitchen god
Difference: It is celebrated on the 23rd of the twelfth lunar month in the North, while it’s on the 24th of the twelfth lunar month in the South.
The Minor Spring Festival is the starting point of preparation for the Spring Festival.
One of the most distinctive traditions of the minor Spring Festival is the burning of a paper image of the Kitchen God, dispatching the god’s spirit to Heaven to report on the family’s conduct over the past year. The Kitchen God is then welcomed back by to the home through the pasting of a new paper image of him beside the stove. From this vantage point, the Kitchen God will oversee and protect the household for another year.
Most of the offerings are sweets and candies of various kinds. It is thought a special treat to the Kitchen God’s and encourage him to only say good words about the family when he ascends to heaven to make his report to Emperor Jade.
Interesting reading: There is also Door God
Between Laba Festival, on the eighth day of the last lunar month, and Minor Spring Festival, on the twenty-third day, families throughout China undertake a thorough house cleaning, sweeping out the old dust in preparation for the New Year.
According to Chinese folk beliefs, ghosts and deities must choose to return to Heaven during the last month of the year or stay on Earth. It is believed that to ensure the ghosts and deities’ timely departure from the house, people must thoroughly clean both their bodies and their dwellings, down to every last drawer and cupboard.
People start to stock up necessary provisions for the Spring Festival since the Minor Spring Festival. Everything needed to make offerings to the ancestors, entertain guests, and feed the family over the long holiday must be purchased in advance.
In the Minor Spring Festival, old couplets and paper-cuts from the previous Spring Festival are taken down, and new window decorations, New Year’s posters, and auspicious decorations are pasted up.
The New Year Eve on the lunar calendar: on the 30th of the twelfth month of the lunar year. Time to enjoy a New Year’s Eve dinner and defending the beast “Sui岁” together with your family.
Differences: activities in this evening when people stay up very late to welcome the New Year
On New Year’s Eve, the whole family gathered together for a New Year’s Eve dinner. The elders distributed the New Year’s Eve red envelopes to the children for good luck, and the whole family stayed together to watch the New Year Gala. The festival atmosphere will reach to peak at midnight with the firecracker and fireworks bombing. On New Year’s Eve, both adults and children must speak auspicious words, not bad words. Besides, the lights are generally not turned off at home throughout the night, especially in the rooms where they sacrifice and worship their ancestors.
In the south, there is a custom of surrounding a furnace on New Year’s Eve. The family sat around the stove after a New Year’s Eve dinner to keep warm, eating melon seeds, watching New Year’s Gala, and chatting at the same time. Most of the talk will be telling the ups and downs of the year.
On New Year’s Eve, the whole family would sit together and watch the Spring Festival Gala while making dumplings in the north. To seek auspiciousness, northerners often pack coins, sugar, peanuts, dates, chestnuts, and meat stuffing into New Year’s dumplings to send the best wishes to people who have this dumpling.
Customs on New Year’s Day of lunar calendar: Open the door and set off firecrackers to celebrate the New Year; sending best wishes to others
Differences: Having dumplings in the north and rice cakes in the south
On the morning of the first day of the new year, when the door is opened, firecrackers are set off first, which is called “open the door firecracker,” which indicates a smooth and prosperous new year.
On this day, the younger generation must first send blessings to the elders. When people meet each other, they should also send blessings of the New Year with smiles first. Besides “Happy New Year新年快乐xīn nián kuài lè,” the most popular greeting is “Blessing you getting rich恭喜发财gōng xǐ fā cái ” on this day.
Also, according to legend, the first day of the first lunar month is the birthday of the broom, and you cannot use the broom on this day. Otherwise, you will lose your luck and money. If you must sweep the floor, sweep from the outside to the inside.
The North prefers to eating dumplings on the first day of the new year, taking the meaning of alternating the old with the new at the “moment of zi 子时 zǐ shí”， which is called “交子jiāo zǐ” and very similar to the Chinese pronunciation of Dumplings “饺子jiǎo zǐ.”
And because the shape of dumplings resembles ingots, the cooked dumplings are served on the table as a good sign of “New Year’s fortune; and ingots will roll into the house continuously.”
Southerners like to make rice cakes and glutinous rice balls. The homophonic “年高nián gāo, a better year” of rice cakes (年糕nián gāo) is a good sign of good luck. The glutinous rice balls汤圆tāng yuán is also called “团子tuán zǐ” and “圆子yuán zǐ” in Chinese, which means “family reunion.”
Customs on the second day of the New Year on lunar calendar: Let the wives back to their parents home
Differences: Noodles in the North, New Year’s Dinner in the South
On the second day of the Lunar New Year, the married daughter returned to her natal family and asked her husband to go with her, so it was commonly called “Welcoming Son-in-law Day.”
On this day, the daughter who returns to her natal family must bring some gifts and red envelopes to share with her natal children and have lunch with her natal family. In the past, the family would also choose to take a family portrait on this day.
There is an old saying: “Eat dumplings on the first day of the new year, and noodles on the second day.” The moral of eating noodles is to hope that the New Year will be as smooth as the noodles. The noodles used for cooking on this day are also particular. It has to be made from the dumpling dough used to make dumplings on New Year’s Eve of the lunar calendar.
Have you ever tried the Shaved Noodles?
A New Year’s feast has to be prepared in the south, Guangdong province, Macau, and other regions, especially for business people. In addition to good-favored dishes, they also prepare roasted meat, which symbolizes health in the coming year; Some people use lettuce and Enoki mushrooms to make a dish, which is a metaphor for making money.
Customs on the fifth day of the Lunar New Year: hide from villains and welcome the god of wealth
Differences: Firecrackers are set off in the North, and red envelopes are distributing in the South
The fifth day of the Lunar New Year is commonly known as “Bao Wu,” to welcome the God of Wealth and “catch the five poor,” including “the poor in wisdom, poor in learning, poor in literature, poor in life, and poor in life.” People start at dawn to set off firecrackers and clean up. The firecrackers were released from the inside while walking out the door; all the unlucky things were blasted out.
In some areas of the north, businesses must set off firecrackers when opening stores after the fifth day of the fifth year to drive away from the bad luck of the past.
Also, there will be performances such as yang ko twisting and walking on stilts in the North during the New Year, and the dragon and lion dances will be performed in the south. No matter what kind of celebration is performed, they are all for Chinese people to enjoy a more joyful and peaceful Spring Festival!
Part V. Which countries in the world celebrate the Spring Festival as China does?
The Spring Festival originated in China and was spread to the whole world by the Chinese. The Spring Festival is one of the four traditional Chinese festivals. Not only do we Chinese celebrate the Spring Festival, but some countries and ethnic groups that belong to the Chinese cultural circle also share the custom of celebrating the Spring Festival. Now let’s check out which countries in the world celebrate the Spring Festival like China does.
In Eastern Asia, countries like North Korea, South Korea and Japan have been deeply influenced by the Han culture since ancient times. The Spring Festival, the grandest and traditional festival in China, is also celebrated by people from these countries.
North Korean Spring Festival
North Koreans also celebrate the Lunar New Year (Spring Festival) as a friendly neighbor with China. The Spring Festival is the most important holiday of the year for North Koreans. The festival is celebrated from the day before the New Year (New Year’s Eve) to the fifteenth day of the first lunar month and the full moon (Lantern Festival); the Spring Festival is also an important holiday for North Koreans to reunite families. Most of the customs of the Spring Festival are similar to those of China.
South Korean Spring Festival
The Spring Festival is a traditional festival with a long history in South Korea. It was suspended in the middle and only resumed in 1999. Like the Spring Festival travel in China, South Korea also has a Spring Festival migration, for it also means family reunion here. Spring Festival must be the busiest time of the year in South Korea. Its folklore is close to North Korea, but it also has folklore characteristics formed by itself. For example, South Koreans are used to using white envelopes to encapsulate New Year’s Eve money. The wife must organize the New Year’s Eve dinner alone, and the husband must not participate.
Japanese Spring Festival
Japan originally celebrated the Chinese Lunar New Year like North Korea and South Korea. Still, since the Meiji Restoration, Japan has followed the example of Western society and changed the lunar calendar to the Western Gregorian calendar. The Lunar New Year has basically disappeared in Japan so far, and the Japanese New Year now is from January 1 to January 3 based on the Gregorian calendar. Except for places like Okinawa and Kagoshima’s Amami Islands, these places celebrate the Lunar New Year.
Reference Reading: CULTURAL EXCHANGE AND COOPERATION BETWEEN CHINA AND JAPAN
South-eastern Asia and South Asia are the regions with the earliest immigration of Chinese and the highest density of Chinese. More than one-half of the Chinese and overseas Chinese live in these areas. Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and other countries have a large population of Chinese immigration. Therefore, these countries also have the custom of celebrating the Spring Festival.
Vietnamese Spring Festival
As one of the few countries that celebrate the Lunar New Year, Vietnam has been deeply influenced by Han culture since ancient times. As the largest folk festival in Vietnam, the Spring Festival holds an important position in the hearts of Vietnamese people. Vietnam’s Spring Festival folklore is almost not much different from China. It prepares New Year’s goods, sticks couplets, eats group dinners, wraps New Year’s rice dumplings, sets off fireworks and firecrackers, sacrifices and worships the god of stoves, etc. As the country with the highest degree of Sinicization in South-eastern Asia, Vietnam celebrates the Chinese New Year lively and the Lantern Festival afterward.
Singapore Spring Festival
As the country with the largest proportion of Chinese in the world except for China, the South-eastern Asian country Singapore has 74% of ethnic Chinese as the country’s population of more than 5.6 million. As an absolute majority, the ethnic Chinese in Singapore naturally celebrate lunar New Year here every year. Singapore’s Lunar New Year also has its own characteristics. For example, Singaporean Chinese like to burn a stick of incense on Lunar New Year’s Eve. Only married people can give out red envelopes and wear red underwear during the New Year (meaning smooth and prosperous life in the next year).
Philippine Spring Festival
Although Chinese account for only 2% of the population of nearly 100 million in the Philippines, 20% of Filipinos share Chinese blood, such as the founding father of the Philippines, Mrs. Aquino, and current President Duterte. All of them have Chinese ancestry. The Chinese New Year became a public holiday in the Philippines in 2012, and the Chinese New Year has officially been upgraded to a legal holiday in the Philippines.
Malaysian Spring Festival
Malaysia is another South-eastern Asian country where ethnic Chinese people live together. Fujianese and Cantonese make up the vast majority of the ethnic Chinese population here. Therefore, the Malaysian Chinese Spring Festival has local Chinese characteristics. For example, the dishes of ” fish sashimi ” and “Poon Choi” are full of Guangdong characteristics. “Bastian Gong” is full of Fujian characteristics, etc.
Thai Spring Festival
Thailand is a country with a relatively high proportion of the ethnic Chinese population in South-eastern Asia. There are more than 7 million ethnic Chinese in the country. Chinese people are spread all over Thailand, and there is a long history of Chinese immigration to Thailand, which maximizes the retention of the traditional lunar New Year cultural characteristics, such as spring festival couplets and Lion dances, New Year’s Eve dinner, set off fireworks, hang lanterns, etc.
Indonesian Spring Festival
The lunar New Year in Indonesia also has regional characteristics. For example, fish is the must-dish during the lunar New Year, which means “enjoying prosperity every year”; Lunar New Year rice cakes, fish sashimi, eggs, and longevity noodles are required.
In South-eastern Asia, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and other countries with much Chinese immigration also celebrate the Lunar New Year.
Nowadays, Chinese people have immigrated and spread the Spring Festival all over the world. In addition to South-eastern Asia, there are also many American Chinese in North America. There are also Chinese in Canada, Australia, and Europe who celebrate the Spring Festival.
American Spring Festival
There are millions of Chinese immigrations living in the United States. Their ancestors come from all parts of China. Over the past century, many Chinese settlements (Chinatowns) have been formed in the United States. The United States is a diversified country. The Chinese Spring Festival in the United States also follows the customs. American Chinese greet the Chinese New Year with local customs, such as making dumplings, dancing lions and dragons, hanging lanterns, guessing lantern riddles, etc. There are many programs, and they celebrate the Lunar New Year as lively as in China.
Canadian Lunar New Year, Brazilian Luna New Year, Australian Luna New Year, South African Luna New Year, English Luna New Year, French Luna New Year, Spanish Luna New Year, German Luna New Year. Where there is a Chinese person, there is the Spring Festival. This traditional lunar New Year festival has rooted in the spirits of the Chinese posterior and this part of the culture will be passing down and growing as time being.
Part VI. The most common auspicious blessing for the Spring Festival of 2021
niú nián kuài lè 牛年快乐 Happy OX year!
niú （niǔ ）zhuǎn qián kūn 牛（扭）转乾坤
Year of Ox will turn the situation around/ Reverse the Bad Luck in the Year of Ox.
gōng hè xīn xǐ 恭贺新禧Good luck in the year ahead!
ɡōnɡ xǐ fā cái 恭喜发财 Good wish to making money
xīn nián kuài lè 新年快乐Happy New Year
wàn shì rú yì 万事如意Everything goes well
xīn xiǎng shì chéng 心想事成 May all your wishes come true
hé jiā xìng fú 阖家幸福 May happiness remain with your whole family
suì suì píng ān 岁岁平安Peace all year round
mǎ dào chéng gōng 马到成功Wishing you every success
shēng yì xìng lóng 生意兴隆Business flourishes
xīn nián yī qiē dōu hǎo 新年一切都好Best wishes for the upcoming year
gōng zuò shùn lì 工作顺利May your work go smoothly
yī fān fēng shùn 一帆风顺May your life go smoothly
shēn tǐ jiàn kāng 身体健康Enjoy good health
xué xí jìn bù学习进步May you progress in studies
zhù nǐ zài xīn de yī nián lǐ shēn tǐ jiàn kāng ，duō fú duō shòu
A rich blessing for health and longevity is my special wish for you in the coming year.
jīn bǎng tí míng 金榜题名（对来年要参加高考等重要考试的学生族）
Success in the examination (for those students who are taking an important examination soon)
The real 2021, year of OX is upcoming for Chinese people. Keats School sends all the best luck to you and hopes the year of Ox will turn the bad situation of the past year around!