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Chinese Culture: Lucky New Year!

2008年4月28日 21:02:23 sz12 Culture

How do Chinese people celebrate the turn of the year?

After 12 months of hard work, the top priority for many Chinese at this time of year is a pleasant spell of relaxation.

New Year's Day is typically a time when most Chinese people forget about their work and weariness and celebrate to their hearts' content.

It has to be remembered that New Year's Day is still regarded as less significant than the Spring Festival which follows just several weeks later.

The Spring Festival is the first day of the Chinese lunar calendar's new year and has thus been dubbed "Chinese New Year's Day."

Chinese people have celebrated this important festival for thousands of years.

By contrast, celebrating the first day of a Gregorian calendar's new year has a history of less than 100 years in China.

In 1911, the great revolutionary forerunner Dr Sun Yat-sen launched a revolution and overthrew the corrupt Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

After winning the victory, the new government established by Sun Yat-sen prescribed a national holiday for the Gregorian calendar's New Year's Day.

Yet despite its relatively short history, the event is still enjoyed and celebrated by Chinese: After all, most have worked hard for the past year and all are looking forward to the impending Spring Festival!

With New Year's Day looming, the whole of China is immersed in a festival atmosphere.

In order to prepare for a sumptuous family reunion dinner, many housewives have been falling over themselves to pick up the best produce from the shops for the past two weeks.

In addition to various delicate dishes, dumplings are indispensable to many Chineses' getting together to celebrate the turn of the year.

The reason is quite simple: the delectable dumplings are regarded as a symbol of reunion and harmony of family members.

Women are quite fastidious about the knack of making top quality dumplings. In their eyes, dumplings with thin outer layers and appetizing stuffing can satisfy the taste buds at first bite.
Families with a relatively modest income will enjoy dumplings with cheaper fillings such as pork, mutton and vegetables.

Those with a higher family income are likely to enjoy eating dumplings with more expensive seafood fillings.

As age-old game is often played at this time of the year-and ancient forerunner, perhaps, of today's popular lucky draws.

After finishing making all the dumplings, a housewife will carefully clean a copper coin before wrapping it in the outer layer of a dumpling.

The counterfeit "dumpling" is indistinguishable from others because it takes the shape of a real one. Plopped into the pot, the special dumpling will be cooked and served up with the genuine ones. The family member who finds it is considered to have gained good luck.

Beijingers, known for their hospitality, will often invited their foreign friends to join them to enjoy the mouth-watering feast they prepare this time of the year.

If you are lucky enough to be invited, don't miss the chance to tantalize your taste buds-and take part in that most traditional of lucky draws!

After all, who doesn't hanker after some good luck come the New Year?

Beijing Weekend 2001

 

Tag:Chinese Culture  

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