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Chinese New Year

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´╗┐Perlie Mong Chinese New Year Chinese New Year is the most important festival in the Chinese culture. It is a time when families and friends visit each other and exchange presents. People who live far away from their families will also go back, as it is a festival of family reunion. In my family, the preparation for the New Year starts approximately a month before the New Year day, seeing that we need to clean their houses thoroughly, which symbolises the removal of the bad luck in the preceding year; decorate our houses with red objects, a colour often associated with good luck, wealth and longevity in Chinese culture. My parents also buy me new outfits, so as to make sure that I look lovely and presentable when visiting friends and families. They also indulge me with an almost unlimited access to sweets and confectioneries as it symbolises a sweet year ahead; therefore it explains why it is my favourite festival! ...read more.


People greet and bless one another even though they do not know each other. It is a day when all indifference and suspicion is replaced by friendliness and goodwill. The highlight of the day is almost certainly the Dragon Dance and the fireworks. The Dragon Dance is a traditional Chinese dance, which involves a dozen or so performers holding the ?dragon? up on poles, raising and lowering the ?dragon? in an undulating manner, accopanied by Chinese folk instruments such as drums and gongs. It is believed that the Dragon Dance performed on New Year's Eve scares away the evil spirits and all the bad luck. My grandfather always tells us tales of the dragon on our way back home. Curiously, I still find them interesting even though I have heard the stories for numerous times. In the evening, there is an official firework display in most parts of China. ...read more.


The next highlight is the Lantern Festival which falls on the last day of the Chinese New Year celebrations. It is the Chinese version of the Valentine?s Day. On this day, hundreds of thousands of lanterns, often with complex, sophisticated designs, would be hung around the streets for people, especially the couples to appreciate. It is a breathtaking sight as the whole city is lit by the kaleidoscopic lanterns. Romantic riddles with solutions are often written on a piece of paper and hung from the lanterns, which aim to amuse the couples. At night, young couples eat small glutinous rice balls called yuanxiao which symbolises harmony, union and happiness while gazing up the liquid, silvery full moon in the quiescent sky, whispering words of love and retelling ancient romantic stories of the gods and goddesses. By the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations, we are all happy, refreshed and ready to face the challenges of the coming year. Even though the celebrations have ended, the joyous and harmonious ambience continue to linger for a period of time. Word Count: 825 ...read more.

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