Do you know why there are so many fireworks and firecrackers around when Chinese New Year is celebrated? This stems from an old tradition. It is said that Chinese New Year or Spring Festival according to Lunar Calendar is a tradition that’s 3500 years old. The loud noises were used to scare the dangerous beast which was eating, frightening everyone and everything around.

Last year fireworks were heard one week before and one after the New Year. The authorities restricted use of them because of pollution, so this year I heard them only today for the first time.

The red colour is considered to be a lucky, so for  Chinese New Year all houses, offices, streets, etc are decorated  with ornaments, Chinese characters in red. The envelopes for money – gifts for employees also are red. Such envelopes are also given to old people and children. Especially generous are young people who want to get marry – a gift to a child is bringing such possibility and a cry of a child – a very bad sign…

The New Year is for Chinese as Christmas time is for Europeans or Americans – a time for family reunions. Millions of people start traveling throughout the country. It is a very bad idea to choose this time for vacations in China – prices for hotel rooms, tickets skyrocket, many restaurants, shops are closed. It is time to celebrate! Beijing, on the contrary, becomes calm and empty – no rush, no traffic jams.

Chinese enjoy eating, so the table for New Year dinner is sumptuous. Fish and dumplings – a must. And  many other meals as well. The New Year gala concert on national CCTV  is also popular. The show is long, impressive and expensive. Main Chinese stars are invited. Traditional dragon and lion dances are performed by renowned artists as well.

New Year evening is spent with the family,  and the next day  –  visiting relatives and friends. Unlucky Beijingers – if their  profession requires to work during Spring Festival, they are  chosen – their families are in Beijing, no need to travel… So the management clerk in my compound is on duty every Spring Festival. His parents live in the capital…

Chinese believes for a Chinese New Year

Some Chinese believe, that it is  bad to wash hair or body during first three days of a Chinese New Year – it is possible to wash away happiness.

Beggars  have to restrain themselves from asking for money during the first  three days as well. It is wise to meet the  New Year in red underwear. This year it is advised  for those who were born in a year of a Rooster.

Some Chinese travel to Europe to celebrate – many European capitals have  started to celebrate Spring festivals as well. Anyway after Chinese New Festival  one can feel spring approaching …