Happy Chinese New Year! 2021 is the Year of the Ox and tradition says that those born in the year of the Ox are known for their qualities of diligence, dependability, strength and determination.
Oliver is in Nanjing at the moment and has sent us some details and photographs to give us an insight into his family's New Year celebrations.
Spring Festival Couplets- Every Spring Festival families paste couplets on their doors which add to the festive atmosphere. The number of words in the couplet is not limited but the two sides of the couplet should correspond to each other. When people paste couplets and blessings on their doorways, it means that the Spring Festival has officially begun.
New Year's Eve Dinner - The rich and colourful New Year’s Eve Dinner is the most important of the year and originates from an ancient year end ceremony where a reunion dinner was held after worshipping gods and ancestors.
Red Packets - Red Packets contain money which is known as 压岁钱 (yā suì qián). This translates as “money to anchor the year (s)" and is also known as “lucky money” or “New Year’s money”. Oliver has told us that if children receive money in the red packets this means they can spend the year in peace.
Making Dumplings - No Spring Festival celebration is complete without dumplings. They are shaped like silver ingots and people are able to put all sorts of auspicious ingredients into the stuffing to help bring New Year wishes true.
Letting off Fireworks - There is a Chinese folk saying that “firecrackers open the door” to the arrival of the New Year, so the first thing families do to open the door is to set off firecrackers to remove the old and welcome in the New Year.