How do you say Happy Chinese New Year 2014 in Chinese?
Most Chinese say Happy New Year like Gong Xi Fa Cai, which is Mandarin, or Gung Hay Fat Choy, which is Cantonese and means “Best wishes and Congratulations. Have a prosperous and good year.” Even though they are pronounced a little different, they are both written the same way.
So, will you say Happy Chinese New Year 2014 or Gong Xi Fa Cai to your friend?
The Tradition of Chinese New Year
New Year’s Eve Dinner
The dinner that is the most important to the Chinese is New Years Eve dinner, which is a family reunion dinner, especially meant for those who are away from home. Fish is the main course for most of China with dumplings being the the main course in northern China. Both of these dishes mean prosperity, with other dishes being ones of personal preference. Most Chinese families have their New Year’s Eve dinner in the home rather than at a restaurant.
Just after the stroke of midnight, tremendous fireworks are set off in order to drive off the evil in China and to bring in a New Year. The Chinese believe that the first person who launches their fireworks will have the best luck.
The meaning of Shou Sui is for the family members, after their New Year’s Eve dinner, will stay awake during the night. Although most stay awake only until after the fireworks, legend says that the mythical beast called a “Year” will come out the night of new years eve to do harm to people, properties and animals. After a while, people discovered that the “Year” was frightened of the color red, loud sounds and fire, which is another reason for having lots of fireworks, some people keep a fire going and stay awake the whole night to frighten off the “Year.”
These are small red envelopes with money inside that ranges from one to several thousand Chinese Yuan. These red packets are given by the adults, especially the elderly and married couples to the young children on New Years Day. Legend has it that the money inside these red packets will keep evil away from the children, give them a long and healthy life.
New Year Markets
During New Years Day, there will be temporary markets set up selling New Year items like fireworks, clothings, food, decoration, and small arts. The market places are normally decorated with many lanterns.
Small Year happens during the last part of the last month of the year usually around the 23rd or 24th. This is suppose to be when the food god leaves the families to go report to heaven the families activities. There is usually some kind of religious ceremony where the people say farewell to the food god and take down and burn the effigy of the food god. After New Years Day is over, people buy new paint for the food god and post it in the kitchen.
Two or three days prior to the Chinese New Year, people clean their homes completely. This entails getting rid of all the old to make room for the new. In ancient times when people did not bathe often, they would take this time to take a through bath to welcome in the New Year.
Once the home is clean, people began to decorate to welcome in the Chinese New Year. Most all decorations are in the color red, with the most popular being the upside down fu, duilian, door god, year paint, lanterns and paper cutting.