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Happy Spring Festival
Source: | Author:Anna Qu | Publish Date :2023-01-19 | 30 Times Viewed: | Share:
Happy Spring Festival


The Spring Festival is the most solemn and grand traditional festival among Chinese people. It is a folk festival integrating collective praying for blessings, fighting disasters, celebrating entertainment and eating. The Spring Festival has a long history, which evolved from the worship of the first year of the year in ancient times, and carries rich historical and cultural heritage in its inheritance and development. The New Year celebration activities focus on the celebration of the old and the new, worship the gods and ancestors, exorcise evil spirits and fight disasters, and pray for a good year. They are rich in content, lively and festive, rich in flavor of the new year, and embody the essence of the traditional culture of Chinese civilization. During the Spring Festival, various New Year celebrations are held throughout the country, and there are differences in the content or details of customs due to different regional cultures. 

  

China has a long history of celebrating the New Year, and has formed some relatively fixed customs in the process of inheritance and development, many of which are still handed down to this day, such as buying New Year's goods, sweeping the dust, pasting couplets, eating New Year's Eve dinner, observing the New Year's Eve, New Year's Eve, New Year's Eve, dragon and lion dance, worshipping gods and ancestors, praying for blessings and avoiding disasters, wandering gods, boating, temple fairs, gongs and drums, flags, lanterns and wine, and flower lanterns. Traditional festival rituals and related customs and activities are important elements of the festival, bearing rich and colorful festival culture.


Busy year

At the end of the year, on the 23rd or 24th, it is called "Xiaonian" in the folk. People have been "busy year" since childhood. Xiaonian is not a specific day. Due to local customs, the days called "Xiaonian" are also different. During the Spring Festival, the main folk activities include sweeping dust and offering sacrifices to stoves. Before the Qing Dynasty, the traditional festival of the Chinese New Year was the 24th of the twelfth lunar month. Since the middle and late Qing Dynasty, the emperor's family held a ceremony to worship the God of Kitchen on the 23rd of the twelfth lunar month. In order to "save money", the Kitchen God was also worshipped by the way. Therefore, the folk people in the northern region followed suit, mostly celebrating the New Year on the 23rd of the twelfth lunar month. In most parts of the south, the old tradition of celebrating the New Year on the 24th of the twelfth lunar month is still maintained.

The busy year before the New Year is mainly about removing the old and replacing the new. Dust cleaning is one of the customs of removing the old and replacing the new before the New Year. The folk saying goes, "On the 24th of the twelfth lunar month, dust and sweep the house". At the end of the year, preparations for the Spring Festival began on the 23rd/24th. Dust sweeping is the year-end sweeping, which is called "house sweeping" in the north and "house sweeping" in the south. When the Spring Festival comes, every household should clean the environment, clean all kinds of appliances, remove and wash the bedding and curtains, sweep the Liulu courtyard, dust the dirt cobweb, and dredge the open channels and ditches. Everywhere is permeated with a happy atmosphere of sanitation and clean welcome to the New Year.

According to the folk saying, because "dust" is homophonic with "Chen", sweeping dust in the Spring Festival has the meaning of "removing the old and making new". The purpose of dust-cleaning is to sweep all "poor luck" and "bad luck" out of the door to pray for a good luck in the coming year; This custom reposes people's prayers and wishes to ward off evil spirits and eliminate disasters, leave the old and welcome the new, and welcome good luck.

On the twenty-third or twenty-fourth day of the twelfth lunar month, the cooking stove is to be cleaned after nightfall, the old kitchen ruler is to be taken down and burned, and the new image is to be pasted on the morning of the New Year's Eve, and the wine and meat, candy, sugar cane, rice, fruit, etc. are to be placed, incense, candles, paper cannons, etc. are to be burned. The folk activity of sacrificing to the kitchen can be traced back to the pre-Qin period, but at the beginning, the day of sacrificing to the kitchen was not the Lunar New Year's Day. Zheng Xuan annotated the Book of Rites and Records, saying: "(Kitchen God) lives in the world, and the censor is too young to be a censor." It is said that these days are the days when Kitchen God returns to the palace from the 23rd of the twelfth lunar month to the New Year's Eve. On the New Year's Eve, the Kitchen God will be invited to descend again. People will paste the image of the Kitchen God first and then start preparing the New Year's Eve dinner. According to the local scenery chronicle "Records of the Land" written by Zhou Chu, a famous person in the Jin Dynasty of China, "On the 24th night of the twelfth lunar month, the kitchen god is worshipped. It is said that the kitchen god goes to heaven the next day

Local customs: Fan Chengda, a famous Song Dynasty poet from Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, has handed down the "Sacrifice to the Kitchen", which vividly describes the custom of sending kitchen utensils to Suzhou people in the Song Dynasty, The poem said: "On the 24th of the twelfth lunar month, the Kitchen God is eager to talk to the sky, and the cloud car, wind and horse are less nostalgic, and the family has a cup and a plate to offer sacrifices. The pig's head is cooked and the fish is fresh, and the bean paste, sweet pine powder and bait are round. The man drinks his daughter to avoid, and sprinkles wine to burn the money for the Kitchen God to be happy. The maidservants fight with you, and the cats and dogs touch the filthy king, and don't be angry. Send you to the gate of heaven drunk, long spoons and short spoons don't return to the clouds, and beg for the return of profit." According to the memory of the old Suzhou people, the most important thing to send a kitchen is not only "sugar ingot", There are other offerings, such as Kitchen God Paper Horse, Kitchen Curtain, Kitchen Ingot, etc.

25 at the end of the year

A folk proverb says, "On the 25th of the 12th lunar month, tofu is ground." Some places still have the custom of eating tofu dregs before the New Year's Eve. In some regions, there is a legend that after the Kitchen King reported to the sky, the Jade Emperor would visit the lower world to see if each household was as the Kitchen King played, so each household would eat bean curd dregs to show their sorrow and hide the punishment of the Jade Emperor.

Receiving the Jade Emperor

According to the folk legend, the Kitchen God ascended to heaven, and the Jade Emperor, the Emperor of Heaven, went down personally on the 25th of December of the lunar calendar to investigate the good and evil of the world and determine the good and evil of the next year, so every family offered sacrifices to pray for blessings, which is called "receiving the Jade Emperor". On this day, we should be cautious in our daily life and speech, and strive for good performance to win the favor of the Jade Emperor and bring good luck to the coming year.

Zhaotian silkworm, also known as "burning farmland silkworm" and "burning farmland wealth", is a popular folk custom of praying for the New Year in the south of the Yangtze River. On the 25th of December, the long pole tied with the torch will be set up in the field, and the flame will be used to predict the New Year. The prosperous flame will herald the harvest in the coming year. Some places hold this activity on New Year's Eve. [12] 

To catch up with the age of chaos

The Kitchen God was sent back to heaven until the New Year's Eve, during which there was no god in the world, no taboos, and most people married, known as "chasing the age of chaos". The disorderly age is a specific period of time designed by the public to regulate social life. At the end of the year, people have leisure and savings. This is a good time for leisure and entertainment for those who seldom have the energy to do important things. [13] 

26 at the end of the year

On the 26th of December, there is also a saying among the people that "the meat is cut on the 26th of December": "the pig is killed and the meat is cut on the 26th of December" or "the knife head is cut on the 26th of December", which means that the meat is mainly prepared for the New Year. Therefore, it is called "Nian Meat". 

In some local villages, this day is the big market day. People from all villages around the market go to the market to buy New Year's goods. Tobacco, wine, fish, meat, firecrackers and gifts for relatives are also indispensable. In the past, ordinary people lived in poverty, and there were many people at home, so they often ate the last meal without the next meal, and the conditions were a little better, but also could eat some steamed buns and wild vegetables. It was not easy to expect that the Chinese New Year would soon come, and the workers in the family began to kill pigs one after another, and the families without pigs went to the market to cut a piece of meat to go home. Therefore, Stewed pork on December 26th is also known as "killing pigs and cutting meat on December 26th".

27 at the end of the year

In the traditional folk custom, people should take a bath and wash clothes on these two days to get rid of the bad luck of the year and prepare for the new year of the coming year. As the saying goes, taking a bath on the 26th of the 12th month is "washing the fortune" and "washing the guilt". 


28 at the end of the year

There is a saying in some places in the north: "On the 28th of the twelfth lunar month, make cakes and steamed buns and paste flowers" or "on the 28th, make noodles". The so-called flower stickers refer to the New Year pictures, Spring Festival couplets, window flowers and various things posted during the Spring Festival. There is a common saying in Guangdong, "When you are twenty eight, you should wash your dirty clothes", which means that on the twenty eighth day of the lunar calendar, the whole family should stay at home to clean and paste the New Year red (waving spring) to welcome the New Year.

Remove the old and welcome the new

The last day of "year old" is called "year old", and that night is called "New Year's Eve". It is connected with the beginning and end of the New Year, which is called "close to the end of the new year and the end of the new year". It is the eve of the new year and an important juncture of time for eliminating the old and ushering in the new year. "New Year's Eve" means New Year's Eve, also known as New Year's Eve, New Year's Eve, New Year's Eve, etc. It is the last night at the end of the year. During this period, the theme of the activity is to remove the old and make the new. Since ancient times, there have been many customs, such as sticking the New Year's red, offering sacrifices to the ancestors, having a reunion dinner, and observing the new year. The New Year's Eve is a day for the New Year, family reunion, and ancestor worship. Together with the Tomb Sweeping Day, the half-seventh month, and the Double Ninth Festival, it is known as the four traditional ancestor worship festivals in China.

On the day of the end of the year, people pay special attention to the old and the new, and welcome the new year. Every family is busy cleaning the courtyards, putting lights on the lanterns, welcoming the ancestors home for the New Year, and offering sacrifices with rice cakes, three animals' meals and three teas and five wines. The New Year's Eve is of special significance to Chinese people. The most important day at the end of the year is that the wandering people who are far away must rush home to reunite with their families, say goodbye to the old year with the sound of firecrackers, and welcome the new year with fireworks.

The worship of ancestors on New Year's Eve is one of the important customs of the New Year. The Chinese nation has a tradition of being cautious and pursuing the future since ancient times. We will never forget to worship our ancestors and repay their kindness during the festival. On New Year's Eve, people will place dishes, pour wine, and hold a solemn sacrificial ceremony to express the memory of their ancestors and pray for the protection of their ancestors. This traditional custom is passed down from generation to generation. Sacrificing ancestors not only covers all ancient traditional festivals in China, but also is the eternal theme of Chinese folk festivals.

There are different forms of ancestor worship. Some people worship ancestors in ancestral temples, while most people place the ancestral tablets in the main hall in order at home, display offerings, and then worshippers worship in the order of seniority. Ancestor worship, most of which are made of fish and meat in bowls, and served in high bowls, which are quite popular.

Sticking New Year's Red is the general name of pasting Spring Festival couplets, door gods, New Year pictures, blessing characters, horizontal banners, window decorations, etc. These are red festive elements posted during the Spring Festival, so they are collectively called "Sticking New Year's Red". Sticking New Year red is a traditional Chinese custom for celebrating the New Year. It reflects the customs and beliefs of the people, adds a festive atmosphere, and places people's good hopes for the new year and new life.

Door god: The original door god was carved in peach wood and hung next to the person, and later painted as a portrait of the door god and posted on the door. The legendary brothers Shendu and Yulei are specially in charge of ghosts. Some of them guard the door, and the big and small evil spirits dare not enter the door to harm. After the Tang Dynasty, there were pictures of Qin Qiong and Yuchi Jingde as the door gods, and there were pictures of Guan Yu and Zhang Fei as the door gods. The door god is one for each household. Descendants often paint a pair of door-gods as one literary and one martial art.

Spring Festival couplets: couplets, also known as "door couplets", "couplets", "Taofu", etc. First, the Spring Festival couplets come from Taofu; Another source is spring stickers. The ancients used to paste the word "Yichun" on the first day of spring, and then gradually developed into spring couplets. Every Spring Festival, every household, whether urban or rural, should select a red spring festival couplet and paste it on the door to increase the festive atmosphere for the festival.

New Year pictures: New Year pictures are also common in urban and rural areas. The thick and dark New Year pictures add a lot of happy and prosperous atmosphere to thousands of families. These have the folk function of praying and decorating the residence. New Year pictures are an ancient folk art in China.

Window flower: During the Spring Festival, people in many areas like to paste various paper-cuts on the windows: window flower. The window decoration not only sets off the festive atmosphere, but also brings people the enjoyment of beauty, which integrates decoration, appreciation and practicality.

Hanging money: hanging money has a long history. Because of the word "money" in the name, hanging them under the eaves in front of the door indicates that the financial resources will roll in the new year.

Inverted "Fu": Every Spring Festival, every family in some places will paste large and small inverted "Fu" on the door, wall and lintel. It is a long-standing folk custom to paste the word "Fu" on the Spring Festival and take its homonym "Fu arrived".

Banner: Banner refers to the banner matching with couplets, which is generally only used for a few couplets that are necessary. The so-called "horizontal" refers to the writing method of horizontal writing; "Batch", with the meaning of revealing and commenting, refers to supplement, summarize and improve the theme of the whole couplet.


family reunion dinner

New Year's Eve dinner is one of the customs of New Year's Day, also known as New Year's dinner, reunion dinner, reunion dinner, etc., especially the family dinner at the end of the New Year. The dinner originated from the ancient year-end sacrificial ceremony, which worshipped the gods and ancestors and had a reunion dinner. The reunion dinner is the highlight before the New Year. It is not only colorful, but also thoughtful. Before eating the New Year meal, worship the gods and ancestors first, and the meal will not be served until the worship ceremony is completed. There are generally chicken (meaning plan), fish (meaning more than one year), oyster sauce (meaning good market), pickle (meaning wealth), bean curd (meaning wealth), lotus root (meaning wisdom), lettuce (meaning wealth), raw garlic (meaning calculation), etc. on the table for good luck. The Chinese New Year's Eve dinner is a family reunion dinner, which is the most sumptuous and important dinner at the end of the year.

New Year's money (called "Balinese" in Guangdong) is one of the customs of the Spring Festival. The New Year's money is sent by the elders to the younger generation. After dinner, the elders should send the prepared New Year's money to the younger generation. It is said that the New Year's money can suppress evil spirits, and the younger generation can spend a year in peace after receiving the New Year's money; In some families, parents put their children under their pillows when they are asleep at night. Giving New Year's money on the New Year's Day reflects the concern and sincere wishes of the elders to the younger generation. New Year's money is implied in folk culture to ward off evil spirits and exorcise ghosts, and to bless peace. The original purpose of New Year's money was to suppress evil and exorcise evil, because people believed that children were vulnerable to sneaky attacks, so they used New Year's money to suppress sneaky exorcism.

Shou Sui, also known as "Sui Sui", "Sui Sui Huo", "Sui Sui", etc., has a long history and is one of the popular activities in China. On the eve of the New Year's Eve, the folk activities mainly include lighting the fire and watching the fire. Every room should be lit all night, and the whole family should be reunited to welcome the arrival of the new year; On New Year's Eve, burning lights and candles all night long is called "lighting up waste". It is said that after such lighting up, the wealth of the family will be enriched in the coming year. In ancient times, there were different customs in the north and the south. In some places, the custom of watching the New Year's Day was mainly to stay up late, that is, to watch all night; For example, according to the "Records of the Land" written by Zhou Chu in the Jin Dynasty, everyone gave gifts to each other on New Year's Eve, which is called "giving the year"; The elders and children gather to celebrate the completion of the ceremony, which is called "dividing the years"; Sleepless all the year round, waiting for the dawn, is called "Shousui". In some places, on New Year's Eve, the whole family get together, eat New Year's Eve dinner, light candles or oil lamps, sit around the stove and chat, and keep vigil all night, which symbolizes driving away all evil plagues and plagues, and looking forward to the good luck of the new year.