New Year’s Eve Traditions in Traditional Chinese Culture
Today (February 9, the 30th day of the twelfth lunar month in the lunar calendar) is the New Year’s Eve in traditional Chinese culture, also called New Year’s Eve. It is a time when families come together to celebrate and prepare for the coming year. There is a proverb that says, “If there is no time on New Year’s Eve, there will be no time in the coming year.” “Suffering from poverty” means that if this day is not empty in five aspects, you will usher in happiness and prosperity in the coming year.
The door is not empty
The door is not empty means that on New Year’s Eve, the 30th day of the twelfth lunar month, the door of the home should be kept open and not closed to welcome the arrival of the God of Fortune. Moreover, keeping the door open also shows that the family is lively and festive, indicating that the home will be filled with joy and laughter in the coming year.
The light is not empty
On New Year’s Eve, every household will light up lanterns and colorful lanterns to decorate their houses. The lights are not empty, which represents warmth and hope. And a variety of lighting decorations also bring people a festive atmosphere. At the same time, lights also symbolize light and brightness, which means that the home will be filled with happiness and success in the coming year.
Words are not empty
On New Year’s Eve, a family has been busy for a year and rarely gets together. The abundant words mean that family members communicate harmoniously and enhance family ties.
The food is not empty
The traditional New Year’s Eve dinner on New Year’s Eve is the most important reunion dinner of the year. “The dishes are not empty” means that the dishes for the New Year’s Eve dinner should be sumptuous, including fish, meat, vegetables and soups, which represents the harvest and abundance in the coming year. Each dish has a specific meaning, such as fish representing a happy new year, and rice cakes symbolizing promotion.
The plate is not empty
After the New Year’s Eve dinner is prepared, it must first be brought to the shrine to worship the gods and pray for blessings. People pray to the gods in good faith to bless themselves and their families with safety and happiness.
In addition to the five things that are not empty, the elderly also often say, “If you don’t throw away three things on New Year’s Eve, your wealth will be empty in the coming year.”
The first thing in “Three Don’t Throw Away” is a broken rice bowl. When buying new year’s goods in the twelfth lunar month, many families will buy a set of brand new rice bowls, saying goodbye to the old and welcoming the new. At the same time, during the year-end cleaning, people throw away the damaged rice bowls at home before New Year’s Eve. Using a broken rice bowl to eat during the Chinese New Year has the meaning of “leaking money” or “losing money”, which is unlucky.
The second thing in the “Three Don’t Throw” items is rusty tools, including tools that have not been used for a long time or are rusty and affect their use. According to traditional customs, rusty tools symbolize decay and loss of vitality and should be cleaned up in time.
The third item in the “Three Don’t Throw” items is expired and spoiled food. On New Year’s Eve, every household will purchase new year’s goods, including various festival foods. Expired food should be cleared away in time to avoid harm to the body due to accidental consumption. Only with a healthy body can we create a better life in the new year.
As Chinese families around the world celebrate the lunar New Year, these traditions continue to be an important part of the festivities, bringing families closer together and creating an auspicious start to the new year.