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Tung Hung Chen

The Chinese New Year is the most important and happiest holiday of the year for Chinese and some other Asian people. For this holiday, families and friends always get together to say goodbye to the old year and welcome the new. There were three weeks of celebration in the traditional Chinese community, but it only lasts for one week now.

There are many interesting and special activities and events in the Chinese New Year.

The Chinese New Year does not fall on the same date each year; because the date of the Chinese New Year depends on the Chinese Lunar Calendar, which is based on the moon's cycles. The Chinese New Year is always between late January and mid February.

During the Chinese New Year's celebration, people have many traditional activities. The Chinese believe that they should do these traditional activities if they want to have a nice whole year. For example, they clean their house, pay off debts, buy new clothes, paint their house and windows and get a new haircut. These activities mean a new life and a new start.

On the Chinese New Year's Eve, the New Year's Eve dinner is a very important thing. Chinese families come together for a celebration dinner. This custom is called "surrounding the hearth". Both children and adults eat together. The dinner is the best if eaten slowly and tasting each dish. There must be several dishes on the New Year's Eve dinner, such as yearlong vegetables, chicken, fish, clams, New Year cakes and carrots. In my family, my mother always makes 10 or 11 kinds of dishes for the New Year Eve's dinner. I like all dishes of my mother's cooking, but my favorite dishes are New Year cakes and yearlong veg­etables, because they are only cooked on this date.

The Chinese New Year is the biggest holiday for the Chi­nese. There are many traditional activities and events on this date. Making new things, the New Year's Eve Dinner, Red Packet, Red Couplets, the Lion Dance and fireworks are impor­tant and interesting activities. First, Red Packet is every child's love at Chinese New Year. Adults always put some money into a red packet and give it to children and elderly people. The symbolic giving of the money represents a wish for luck and wealth in the coming year. Second, Red Couplets are one of the main forms in the Chinese New Year. Red Couplets are Chinese good luck sayings written on red paper and decorated on the walls and doors. Third, the Lion Dance is the greatest event for celebrating the Chinese New Year. The lion is a popular symbol for the Chinese. It symbolizes good luck and strength. In the Chinese New Year, some people dress up in the lion clothes, and dance on the streets. They bring good luck to the houses or businesses when the Lion dances visit. Forth, the Chinese like to shoot fireworks in the Chinese New Year. The symbolism is that the noise of the fireworks is supposed to scare away bad things and wake up the dragon that will fly into the sky to bring the spring. As you can see, there are many inter­esting activities for celebrating the Chinese New Year. In my childhood, I liked the Chinese New Year much more than now because I should give Red Packet to chil­dren and elderly people now, and nobody wants to give money to me. But if someone asks me, "What is your favorite holiday?" I will say, "It is the Chinese New Year."

I believe all the Chinese like the Chinese New Year.


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