Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The 15-Day Celebration of Chinese New Year

The agenda is a bit complicated for non Sino-people, so after some search and more enquiries, here is a quick summary of the 15 days schedule for the coming Chinese New Year 2008, years of the Rat.

Feb 6

  • New Year Eve’s dinner and party

Feb 7

  • New Year Lunch (Vegetarian food only)
    The first day of the Lunar New Year is "the welcoming of the gods of the heavens and earth. Many people abstain from meat on the first day of the New Year because it is believed that this will ensure long and happy lives for them.

Feb 8

  • On the Second day, the Chinese pray to their ancestors as well as to all the gods. They are extra kind to dogs and feed them well as it is believed that the second day is the birthday of all dogs.

Feb 9-10

  • The third and fourth days are for the sons-in-laws to pay respect to their parents-in-law.

Feb 11

  • The fifth day is called Po Woo. On that day people stay home to welcome the God of Wealth. No one visits families and friends on the fifth day because it will bring both parties bad luck.

Feb 12-16

  • On the sixth to the 10th day, the Chinese visit their relatives and friends freely. They also visit the temples to pray for good fortune and health.

Feb 13

  • The seventh day of the New Year is the day for farmers to display their produce. These farmers make a drink from seven types of vegetables to celebrate the occasion. The seventh day is also considered the birthday of human beings. This is everyone's birthday, the day when everyone grows one year older. Noodles are eaten to promote longevity and raw fish for success.

Feb 14 (Valentines Day)

  • On the eighth day the Fujian people have another family reunion dinner, and at midnight they pray to Tian Gong, the God of Heaven.

Feb 15

  • The ninth day is to make offerings to the Jade Emperor.

Feb 16-18

  • The 10th through the 12th are days that friends and relatives should be invited for dinner.

Feb 19

  • After so much rich food, on the 13th day you should have simple rice congee and mustard greens (Choi Sum) to cleanse the system.

Feb 20-21

  • The 14th day should be for preparations to celebrate the Lantern Festival which is to be held on the 15th night.

I will try to guide you in the next posts towards the tradition of the Chinese New Year