Spring Festival is a very traditional and important festival for the Chinese all over the world. It is also a family-centered festival when family members get together. Throughout the country, the weeks before Chinese New Year’s Eve are an explosion of color with chunlian (spring couplet) posted on door posts, door gods on the main gate and shops glistening with red and gold decorations.
What should people prepare for before Spring Festival? Before Spring Festival comes, the people clean the houses completely and wash their clothes, bedclothes, sheet and all the utensils. After that, they begin to decorate their house with chunlian, door gods and paper-cut on window. In addition, people purchase some necessary stuffs which include fireworks, various types of nuts, new clothes, various kinds of fruits, vegetables and meat, etc.
People attach great importance to Spring Festival Eve. All family members get together to eat the luxurious dinner. Around 20 o’clock, people let off the firecrackers which can only be permitted in appointed places in cities and anywhere in countryside. After dinner, the members will sit together to chat, play games or watch TV. But Spring Festival Eve Gala Evening on CCTV becomes an essential entertainment for Chinese both at home and abroad.
In Beijing, the temple fairs in the Lama Temples and other temples will be held to celebrate the festival. At night, the city echoes to the sound of continuous fireworks. Jiaozi is one of indispensable dishes for family reunion dinner, because the shape of Jiaozi resembles gold ingot. People eat them for money and treasure in the new year.
In Shanghai, the explosion of firecrackers at midnight welcome the new year and the special activities at Longhua and Jing’an temples. The good restaurants are booked out for Spring Festival Eve dinner in advance. Niangao (New Year cake made of glutinous rice flour) is an essential dish because in Chinese as a homophone, niaogao means “higher and higher, one after another years”.
In Hong Kong, the Spring Festival is welcomed by a huge international parade at the PLA Central Barracks site along the waterfront between Central and Wan Chai. A fantastic fireworks displays over Victoria Harbour on the second evening and one of the year’s biggest horse races is held at Sha Tin on the third day during the festival.
Because people in mainland China are busy with visiting relatives, it is a difficult time to try to travel around China.