Where should I start? — Food!! The night for Chinese new year is called ‘Tuan Yuan Ye‘, means ‘an evening for everyone to gather together’. The dinner for Chinese new year eve is called ‘tuan yuan fan’, which means that everyone in the family would all gather around the table and eat together. — So, you can imagine how much I miss home being with my parents and how much they miss us. :((
Dumplings are the most common food on the table. My friends from southern China used to tell me that they do not normally make dumplings at home, the only day they would make them is on new year’s eve. It is a tradition in China in most places. However, as I mentioned before, my mom always prefers to make ‘He Zi’, as she likes its shape and similar pronunciation to ‘unity’ — she wishes the whole family to be together at all times. So she always makes ‘He Zi’ instead of dumplings. Then we would have dumplings on New year day.
Another significant event in China is CCTV’s celebration TV program (central Chinese TV channel), which starts at 8pm, normally last 5 hours or even a bit longer. It is a synthesized entertainment program, and almost every household would sit in front of the TV to watch. It has become a tradition in China since 1979.
Don’t underestimate the program, it is not only important for Chinese people, make people feel like celebrating the new year with a ‘big family’, but also anyone who performs in the program could have an instant career ‘push’, become well-known. :))) The theme of this year’s program is ‘going home for the new year’, so there are lots of performances are just like ‘tear gas’, made me cry — my homesick became worse. :(
At 12 o’clock, this TV program shows the coming of the new year, then the whole night lights up — all the fireworks set off, sometimes it is hardly to hear each other, but outside is a beautiful world. Every household would have prepared all kinds of fireworks, gather in the yard. Especially it is the moment for kids and teenagers. Although me and my mom really hate the noise, my mom would like us to set off a couple of ‘loud’ ones, she always say it means we are going to have a ‘loud’ and ‘sound’ year! :))
As a tradition, I don’t know if every household is still following this, when it comes 12 o’clock, we put on a pair of new socks, and step on the floor; it is said that this can help you get rid of ‘dodgy people’ in your new year. — Yeah, I know, superstitious.
Also, the telephones are starting ringing — non stop. People try to say ‘happy new year’ to each other at the every first minute of the new year.
‘Happy new year’ in Chinese is ‘Guo (4) Nian (2) Hao (3)’, which is different to say ‘happy new year’ on the first of January ‘Xian Nian Kuai le’. There are also other wishes like ‘wish you wealthy, healthy…’
OK, tomorrow is the new year day!! A fresh start!! My culture notes continues.