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Thu 30 Mar 2017
Chinese's New Year
Written by Student Weekly   
Thursday, 22 February 2007 18:09
The sounds of firecrackers can be heard exploding all over the place. Young happy children with 'Ang Pao' (red envelopes containing money) in hand and processions of dragon dancers make their way down the roads of Chinatowns around the world. They represent the coming of the Chinese New Year--the most important day on the Chinese calendar.

The Chinese New Year is also known as the Lunar New Year, is on the first day of the first month based on the Chinese style lunar calendar. Some people call New Year’s day ‘The Spring Festival’ because it is the beginning of spring.

They are praying to their dead ancestors. You can see that lots of food and drink which they offer to their ancestors. 

Two days before New Year

Chinese people go to the market to buy food and other offerings on this day. It is also the last day for shops and stalls to open. All the shops will be closed until after the New Year.

The last day of the year

Chinese pray and prepare offerings to the gods and to their ancestors on this day. There are three different kinds of prayers that must be performed, including prayers for the Gods of the Land in the morning, prayers for the ancestors at noon and prayers for the wandering souls with no relatives in the afternoon.

These prayers show respect to the gods and ancestors. They believe that these prayers will bring merit and blessings. After each prayer, the Chinese burn golden paper, believing that the paper will become money in the after life.

New Year's day

More prayers are done on New Year’s day, this time for the gods of luck and good fortune. This prayer is usually held in the early morning and you need to look at the ‘Lear Yik Tao’ (the collective book of Chinese culture and tradition) to know the best time to pray. After this prayer, some families perform another prayer for their ancestors.

New Year’s day is the most festive day of all the three days. People go to their relatives’ houses to give and receive blessings. They exchange oranges and give away ‘Ang Pao’ to the younger children. Chinese believe that doing this will bring them good luck in the New Year.

During the celebrations, there are also lion dance performances--believed to ward off demons. People also refrain from fighting or being mean to each other during this time because it would bring them bad luck throughout the year.

She is putting the incense sticks in the shrine. She is offering the food to the ancestors. They are burning the paper.
Chinese lion dance performances. Chinese street opera. It's free to watch by the side of the road.