The celebration of the Chinese New Year may last only a few days including the New Year's Eve, the New Year season actually starts from the 15th of the last month and ends at the 15th of the first month of the new year. By tradition, Chinese will be busy in buying presents, decorating their houses, preparing food and making new cloths for the New Year. During that period, all transportation, in particular railway, will be busy
in bringing Chinese back to their own home town for a family reunion on the Chinese New year Eve. Days before the New Year, every family is busy giving its house a thorough cleaning, hoping to sweep away all the ill-fortune there may have been in the family to make way for the wishful in-coming good luck. People also give their doors and windowpanes a new paint, usually in red color. They decorate the doors and windows with p
aper-cuts and couplets with the very popular theme of "happiness", "wealth", "longevity" and "satisfactory marriage with more children". Paintings of the same theme are put up in the house on top of the newly mounted wallpaper. In the old days, various kinds of food are tributes to the ancestors. The Eve of the New Year is very carefully observed. Supper is a feast, with all members coming together. One of the most popular cou
rses is jiaozi, dumplings boiled in water. "Jiaozi" in Chinese literally mean "sleep together and have sons", a long-lost good wish for a family. After dinner, it is time for the whole family to sit up for the night while having fun playing cards or board games or watching TV programs dedicated to the occasion. They also go to flower market for last moment shopping for flower and foodstuff. Light will be kept on the whole nigh
t. At midnight, fireworks will light up the whole sky and firecrackers make everywhere seem like a war zone. People's excitement reaches its zenith.Very early the next morning, children greet their parents and receive their lucky money in red wrapping. Then, the family starts out to say greetings from door to door, first their relatives and then their neighbors. It is a great time for reconciliation. Old grudges are very easil
y cast away during the greetings. The air is permeated with warmth and friendliness. During and several days following the New Year's day, people are visiting each other, with a great deal of exchange of gifts. The New Year atmosphere is brought to an anti-climax fifteen days away where the Festival of Lanterns sets in. It is an occasion of lantern shows and folk dance everywhere. One typical food is the Tang Yuan, another kin
d of dumplings made of sweet rice rolled into balls and stuffed with either sweet or spicy fillings.