Festival Facts Travel

Chinese Spring Festival: Information

The Chinese Spring Festival is the most significant festival for the Chinese people. A very special day in the Chinese culture, the spring festival packed with rich and vibrant activities. It’s a great time for family get-togethers and festivity.

The spring festival kickoffs between late January and mid-February (as per the Chinese lunar calendar, hence the dates differ each year depending on the new moon). This year it’s on – January 22, 2012 (Chinese New Year’s Eve) to February 2, 2012 (Lantern Festival).

Chinese citizens travel to china to visit their families and relatives. Each member that works far away, tries his best to come back home to enjoy the Chinese spring festival and the family feast, no matter where he/she is. Foods like dumplings (jiaozi), niangao (type of sticky rice cake), spring rolls, fish, meat, chicken, noodles, roasted nuts, seeds and all kinds of fruits are prepared for the festival. The houses are decorated with the couplets, red paper cuttings, scrolls and red lanterns. Pasting the Chinese Character ‘Fu’/‘福’ is also a very popular custom as it means good luck or happiness.

There’s a huge 15-day celebration. The first day of the Chinese New Year is striking, and the cities are lit with the flash of fireworks. Everyone greets each other, friends and relatives with bows & exchanges gifts. It’s traditional for the young to visit the elders, wishing them a healthy and long life. Elders give money (also called luck money) in red envelopes (yasuiqian/Hong Bao) to kids. It’s a common practice, and they believe red signifies vigor; joy, prosperity and good fortune in Chinese culture and also brings good luck and wards off the evil spirits.

As a custom, the second day is for married daughters to visit her parents. For the remaining days, people go out to visit relatives and friends, enjoy vivid activities & mouthwatering, grand luxurious feasts during the festival period. A chain of activities such as dragon lantern dancing, lion dancing, Niu Yangge dancing, lantern fiesta’s and temple fairs are held along with other traditional performances. Many families stay up late (Shousui) to enjoy the New Year Gala event on TV or merely sit together and merrily chat with each other.

The Spring Festival then comes to an end on the fifteenth day when the Lantern Festival or Yuanxiao is over, marking the completion of the Chinese Spring Festival celebrations.