Happy New Year
Jane here, checking in from China.
I have been privileged to experience the joy of the Spring Festival or more commonly known as Chinese New Year. This annual 2 week long celebration has been held for centuries and is an important time to clean out the old and welcome in the new. The Chinese New Year falls between the harvest and planting seasons and is full of traditions centered around the family and home. The Spring Festival is celebrated by 1/5 (20%) of the World's population and is a national holiday in over 10 countries and territories.
The week before the new year an estimated 4% of the world's population is on the move. On the days immediately before the start of the new year, families give their homes and businesses a good cleaning to "sweep" away the events of the past year and to allow clean space for the new. This is also the time for all things new; clothing, hair cuts, home and office decorations, etc.
Traditionally, on the eve of the holiday, a family Reunion Dinner called "Nian Ye Fan" is held. This dinner is similar to Thanksgiving dinner in the United States. The remainder of the 15 day celebration includes giving away red envelopes, fireworks, dinners, visits to family and friends, burning paper offerings, dragon and lion dances, mandarin oranges, and ending with the Lantern Festival.
The Lantern Festival takes place on the first full moon of the new year and includes solving lantern riddles, eating tangyuan, a sweet dumpling, and illuminating your lantern. During my free time I have been working on my riddle and look forward to lighting my lantern at the end of the festival.
Until next time, Jane signing off.
P.S. I would love to hear about your New Year traditions!
P.P.S. What riddle would you attach to your lantern?