2024-02-09  |  


[Photo via VCG]

Cleaning the house, making paper-cuttings for window, pasting spring couplets, eating dumplings, and visiting the temple fairs are the ceremonial activities of everySpring Festival customs for households in Beijing during the Chinese New Year, and are also part of the traditional Chinese cultural customs that have been passed down for thousands of years.

Cleaning the House

In ancient times, the Spring Festival sweepingcleaning was called "Sao Nian" (扫年)", which originated from a religious ritual of the ancient people to drive awayavoid diseases and epidemics. Later on, it gradually evolved into a year-end sanitation and clean-uping tradition.

Making Paper-Ccuttings for Window

As one of the festival customs, window paper-cuts, known as "Chuang Hua" (窗花) " in Chinese, are rich in content and designpatterns. Their delightful patterns bring festive cheer to the holiday decorations.

Pasting Spring Couplets

The spring couplets express good wishes within well-structured, antithetical, concise, and exquisite words. During theEvery Spring Festival, every family would carefully selects a pair of bright red couplets to stick them be affixed on their door to enhancelight up the festive atmosphere.

Reunion Dinner

The reunion dinner on the Chinese New Year's Eve is the most important part of the celebration for Chinese people. It is also the most sumptuous family banquet of the year, where family members gather together happily to enjoy the well-cooked dishes.

Staying up on New Year's Eve

Staying up on New Year's Eve, known as "Shou Sui" (守岁)" in Chinese(守岁), means a lot for both the elderly and the youngth. It reminds people to either cherish the time or and strive for excellence. Recreational activities are usually organized on the Chinese New Year's Eve to keep people awake, such as lighting lanterns and setting off firecrackers.

Lucky Money

The lucky money, known as "Ya Sui Qian"" (压岁钱) " in Chinese, is used to "pray for good fortune and dispel evil spirits". It is something that contains the elders' best wishes for their children to 's growth up and hopes for their healthy development.

New Year Greetings

During the Spring Festival, people will exchange greetings when they meet each other like "Guo Nian Hao" ("Happy New Year") and "Gei Nin Bai Nian Le" ("Happy New Year to you").

Eating Jiaozi

To celebrate the Spring Festival, the whole family will gather together to make Chinese dumplings, known as "jiaozi" (饺子)"in, "Chinese dumplings"). Sometimes people would wrap clean dates or coins in the dumplingsjiaozi together withbesides fillingsminced meat, and those who happen to eat one of thesesuch are believed to be blessed throughout the year.

Visiting Temple Fairs

Every year during theEvery Spring Festival, Beijing holds a series of temple fairs in such places as the Temple of Earth, Longtan (龙潭), Changdian (厂甸), the Grand View Park (大观园), Shijingshan Amusement Park (石景山游乐园), and Badachu (八大处) with dazzling performances and festivities.