HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR 2018
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Food is one of the things that the Chinese take the most pride in. And of course, a lot of care and thought is put into the menu for the most important holiday of the year.
As with Chinese New Year activities and decorations, the dishes are created to give blessings for the next year. Both the names and looks are symbols of wishes for prosperity, happiness, and auspiciousness.
Though every region (even household) have different customs, there are some common dishes seen on every table.
This Chinese tradition goes all the way back to the Northern and Southern dynasties (420-589 AD). In the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD), everyone would show off their new clothing as they visited friends on New Year’s Day. In the Republican period (1912-1949), beautiful new clothes were needed as the youth paid their respects to the elders. It’s a part of Spring Festival celebrations, just like the New Year’s Eve reunion dinner. You might be able to guess why.
Significance of new clothes
The Spring Festival is a time of change and new beginnings. Practically every activity during the Spring Festival has the purpose of removing the old and welcoming the new. Forget about the misfortunes and be ready for good luck. In addition, new clothes are auspicious and can protect you from evil spirits.
Like the New Year couplets and other decorations, new clothes also add to the festivity. In the past, China was an agrarian society. There was only 1 harvest per year in the north and 2-3 in the south. Throughout the entire year, people scrimped and saved.
But during Chinese New Year, people can finally splurge and treat themselves. This side of new clothes is a little lost on the younger generations. But it’s a sign that the current standard of living is higher than before. Still, it’s important to be aware of the historical significance.
How and when?
You can buy yourself new clothes. But often, they will be given as gifts from the family. Because it’s a sign of a fresh start, it’s best to wear your new attire on New Year’s Day.
Happy New Year
新年快乐 (xīn nián kuài lè)
Peace and Prosperity to All!