Chinese New Year is a bit like Christmas, Thanksgiving and western New Year’s Eve all wrapped up in one momentous holiday. New Year’s Eve is celebrated by eating with your family. Chinese people like to eat to begin with, but New Year’s Eve is an occasion to go all out and provide a huge feast with chicken, fish, and nian gao, a type of starchy cake made with rice flour. I spent the holiday in
On the first day of the new year, you may see lion dances, in which people put on the costume of a lion and dance to cymbals. The dance is supposed to bring good luck as we begin a new year. The second day is to be spent with the wife’s family. Since traditional (read: old fashioned) Chinese society is male-dominated, women were supposed to be part of the man’s family once they were married. The second day of the New Year was the time for them to be able to rejoin their own family.
I won’t go into all the details of the holiday, since I don’t really know them. Google it or look it up on Wikipedia if you want to know more. Suffice it to say, it’s a huge celebration that involves lots of food, drinking, gifts of money and candy, and rest. Oh, and text messages.