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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Westborough, Massachusetts
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Home  »  China Travel Guide  »  Chinese Culture  »  Chinese Traditional Festivals  »  Chinese New Year’s Eve
Chinese New Year’s Eve

Chinese New Year's Eve(除夕) refers to the night in end of the last day of the lunar year. Because the day often falls on the lunar twelfth month 29 or 30, it is also known as Chinese New Year's Eve. It is one of the most important Han Chinese traditional festivals. Every household are busy sweeping homes and courtyards. On New Year's Eve, people often do not sleep all night which called pernoctating. On New Year's Eve, you not only should keep both inside and outside of the house cleaning, but also need to post door-god, couplets, New Year pictures and hang lanterns.

Chinese New Year's Eve is extremely important for Chinese people. On this day, people ring out the Old Year and ring in the New Year, then eat the reunion dinner. The family is the foundation of Chinese society. The annual reunion dinner fully demonstrates that the Chinese clan family members love each other and this mutual respect and love also brings the relationship between the families closer together. Reunite families often make householders get spiritual consolation and satisfaction. The elders look at dons, daughters and grandchildren while the whole family gather at the table. The care and upbringing of children in the past finally paid off which is a kind of happiness that cannot be too much praised. The younger generation are also able to take the opportunity to raise the grace to parents and express gratitude.

Dinner of Chinese New Year’s Eve
Eating New Year's Eve dinner is the most popular New Year enjoyable time for each family. On New Year’s Eve, the dinner table are filled with various dishes and family reunion, sitting around the table were happy to eat there meal on the table. There are many kind of dishes including hot dishes, cold dishes, dissert and various staple food. However, there are two general two things: hot pot and fish. The hot pot is boiling and steaming, warm and sultry, indicating prosperous future; "fish" and "surplus" are homophonic in Chinese which is a symbol of "more than auspicious", but also a metaphor for "surpluses every year." Turnips are commonly known as radish which means a good beginning in the coming year. Lobster, fish and other fried foods wish a thriving family fortune like "fire cooking oil." There are many different customs of celebrating New Year’s Eve in different parts of China, the staple food in different place various from dumplings, noodles to sweet dumplings.

The Legend of Chinese New Year’s Eve
It is said that there was a monster called “Nian” who had four hands and four feet. The image og “Nian” is a typical imagination of monsters in Chinese culture. Due to winter snow cover and food shortages, it often went to a nearby village to find something to eat. Because it has huge body, grumpy and ferocious temper, it had brought great disaster to the villagers. By the end of every twelfth month of the lunar year, young and old people are sorting clothes to hide in the nearby bamboo forest to avoid disaster.

One year's New Year's Eve, folks are busy packing things fled to the mountains. This time, a white-haired old man coming from the east of the village, said to the old lady just let him spend the night at her house. He said that he will be able to drive away the beast. People do not believe the old man to go up to the mountain to escape, but the old man insisted on not to leave. As the villagers cannot persuade him the escape, they have to go up the mountain and left the old man in the village.

When the "Nian" beast broke into the village and prepared to rage as in previous years, it suddenly came a loud noise of firecrackers which was lit by the old man. "Nian" began to tremble and no longer dare to scrape forward. The "Nian" beast fear red flames and exploding. At this time, the door was wide open, an old man who was wearing a red gown roared with laughter. The "Nian" beast was shocked and desperate to flee.

The next day, when people came back from the mountains and went back to the village, they found the village safe. And they suddenly realized that the white-haired old man is a god to help them expel the "Nina" beast. They also found the way the white-haired old man expulsed the "Nian" beast. Since then, on the annual New Year's Eve, everyone began to stick red couplets, lit on firecrackers and household lights. This custom have been spread and has become China's most ceremonious traditional folk festival "New Year".

Ancestor Worship of New Year’s Eve
In ancient times, the custom of worship ancestor are prevailing. As the customs vary from places to place, the ceremony of ancestor worship are different. Some people may worship their ancestors in outdoors while some people worship their ancestor in ancestral halls. However, most people choose to place their ancestral tablets in turn in the main hall and exhibit offerings. And then, they begin to worship their ancestor in the order of seniority.

In parts of the China, there is a custom of New Year's Eve called “Shangfen” to send in food. The time to “Shangfen” is generally in New Year's Eve afternoon. People make the dinner and send it to the front of the graves death of their loved ones, so that the death of loved ones can enjoy the New Year's Eve with the raw food together. It is a way to show their grief to the death of their loved ones.



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