Chinese New Year - Lei (Coco) Sun (20190028)
As the Chinese spring festival approaches, it is the time when the sight of Chinese people is inundated by a sea of red and an explosion of characters decorating doorways and windows. Paper cuttings, hand-written characters or red knotting are pasted or hanged to windows, doors, and walls and represent the invitation of happiness and good fortune into every building in China.
It is also the time that all Chinese will go back to their hometown and enjoy the reunion with beloved family members. In China, we have a saying: Home is where the heart is. Like Christmas evening in the Netherlands, the “family reunion dinner（年夜饭）” also is the most important part of the Chinese spring festival. Family reunion dinner is not only sumptuous but also fastidious. There are usually some dishes with auspicious homophonic allusion on the dinner table, such as chicken (meaning opportunity), fish (meaning abundance), pork (meaning getting rich), shrimp (meaning clever), noodles (meaning long-lived) and dumplings (meaning good fortune). Last year, my friends and I ordered Chinese delivery food to indulge ourselves and to try to create the joyful atmosphere that we missed being away from home.
On the morning of the Spring Festival, Chinese people will open the door and set off firecrackers first, it is called "open-door firecrackers." It means welcoming the New Year with the sound of firecrackers. Then, the seniors will give the younger generation an envelope packed with money. This custom, which is a folklore activity containing family ethical relationships, reflects the elders’ caring for the younger generation and the younger generation’s respect for the elders.
As most people may know, we have different Chinese zodiacs (rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, sneak, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig) every year. For 2021 it will be the zodiac ox. My zodiac is the rooster, so during the year 2018, my parents bought me a red string bracelet with a small gold rooster to give me their blessing. Red is the color of the season. The reason is that red, hóng, means prosperity, and the color is traditionally shorthand for everything fortuitous, everything can be found in red during the spring festival. And we will wear anything red, such as coats, scarves, hats or even socks. Stuck as to what to wear to your Chinese friend's house over the break? Slap on something red and you instantly become the life of the party!
Always wear someting red!