Experiencing the Chinese New Year

Those of us who have been around for a few years now, have already grown accustomed to the traditions of this big celebration of the Lunar New Year. We are now used to receiving or giving the red Lai-see envelopes with the lucky money, used to seeing all the Door Gods, used to all the noise and we are also used to spotting big sofas, tables, chairs and all kinds of household stuff dumped in the rubbish bins. Yes, it's the time to renew the home, cut the hair, clear the old debts, wear new clothes and to renew the life itself. It's the happy and red season of the Cosmic Renewal. It's the season to finally make a break in the business, visit the relatives and pay a tribute to the Gods.
For those of you who are here for the first time, do stay around, enjoy and absorb all that this event has to offer to the eyes and mind of a foreigner. It's an amazing and intense experience. You'll be dazzled with all the happiness. During these days most traditional commerce will be closed and everybody will go out to celebrate and burn firecrackers! It's the most noisy season in all China!
Oh, and if you are unmarried don't be surprised when a Chinese friend offers you money in a red envelope. It's the time for the generous offer of money as a wish of wealth and fortune for the coming year.

May the New Year be happy and wealthy for you,
And bring us a big load of red packets too!!

And if you want to know a bit or a lot more about Chinese New Year and other festivals of China, here's a suggestion that you may find in your Bloom:

Mooncakes and Hungry Ghosts: Festivals of China
by Carol Stepanchuk and Charles Wong
China Books
An outstanding introduction to the variety of popular Chinese festivals, including Lunar New Year, Qingming (Tomb-sweeping Day), Dragon Boat, Mid-Autumn, and more!


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