Beijing Spring Festival Tours
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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  »  Beijing Tour  »  Beijing Travel Guide  »  Beijing Facts  »  Chinese Spring Festival
Spring Festival
( Chinese Lunar New Year )
The Origin of Chinese New Year:
Chinese New Year, pronounced in Chinese as "xin nian". "xin" means "new" and "nian" means "year. It always falls on the first date of the beginning of the spring, hence the "Spring Festival". The date for Chinese Lunar new year is not fixed, between late Jan and early Feb each year. There are many stories behind the origin of "nian", which actually is a name of a ruthless animal!

The legend says that the beast "nian" has a huge mouth. It was very ruthless and could swallow many people in one single mouth. People were very much scared. An brave old man tried to conquer "nian" and approached it and said to "nian": "I learn that you are very powerful, but can you be strong enough to swallow the other animals instead of human beings who are not your your opponents?" So "nian" swallowed many of the other beasts that endanger people and their domestic animals. Later people knoew that the old man was actaully the immortal god, riding the beast "nian" and flyng to the heaven.

Now the ruthless "nian" is no more and other beasts were also driven into forests, people have chance to enjoy their peaceful life. Before the old man flew to the sky, he had informed people to have red paper decorations on their windows and doors at each year's end to drive away "nian" in case it came back again since the red is the color the beast "nian" feared the most!

People often say "guo nian" ( having the new year ) means "survive" the "nian", pass over the ruthless animal, not be found by the beast. Today people still prepare for the red paper and have firecrackers as way of celebration to drive"Nian". "guo nian" has been a tradition of celebration for thousand of years.

Traditions of Chinese New Year:
The actual spring festival celebration of the Chinese New Year lasts 15 days starting from the first day of the new year till Lantern Festival.. before the Chinese new year, Chinese will spend at least 15 days in preparing for the new year, buying presents, decorating their houses, preparing food and buying cloths for the New Year. All transportation will be crazy with huge flood of people coming back home. People are back home for a family reunion on the Chinese New year Eve.
To meet the coming new year, every family is busy having a thorough house cleaning, in a hope to sweep away all the bad luck that have been following or may follow their family. People use paper-cuts and couplets to decorate the doors and windows. Most of the are couplets with the very popular theme of "happiness", "wealth", "longevity" and "satisfactory marriage with more children". In some areas, people still keep the old tradition of having various kinds of food for the tributes to the ancestors.

The Eve of the New Year is greatly observed. The most important thing for the eve is the Supper! The supper on the eve is much expected,a feast with all family members coming back together. The mos popular course of the eve supper is "jiaozi", a kind of dumplings boiled in water. After dinner, it is time for the whole family to stay up for the night - " Guo Nian " - playing cards, board games or watching TV programs especially made for the occasion. Light will be kept on for the whole night. At midnight, people fire fireworks to sweep away all the ill fortune and welcome the good fortune in the coming year. The firecrrackers will light up the whole sky and people's happiness gets to its zenith.

The next morning, people, especially the children wear new clothes greet their parents. The children receive their lucky money in red wrapping. Then, the family go out to say hello to their relatives and neighbors. It is a good time for reconciliation. People cast their old grudges very easily through their greetings. The air is filled with warmth and friendliness. In the 15 day-spring festival, people are visiting each other, and exchange gifts. The New Year comes to an end when the Festival of Lanterns sets in. Each lantern festival finds lantern shows and folk dance everywhere. One special food for the festival is the Tang Yuan, another kind of dumplings made of sweet rice rolled into balls and stuffed with either sweet or different fillings.
The coming of Lantern Festival marks the end of the New Year season. After the lantern festival, life is back to the daily routines once again. China has various customs of observing the New Year from place to place snce china , as you know, is such a huge country.

Golden Week - week long holiday:
The official paid day off for the Spring Festival is 3 days. But Chinese government makes it a 7 day holiday by moving the prior weekend and the upcoming one together with these 3 days. This is the Chinese government's "holiday economy" policy. In a nation that for thousands of years held diligence and hard work in the highest esteem, the Chinese have learned to relax, travel and loosen their wallets since their country began its thrice annual holidays seven years ago, known as Golden Weeks

Lao Li's Blog:
My Community Lunar New Year's Eve fireworks 2008

Beijing Spring Festival Tour
» Chinese New Year Eve Experience Tour
» Beijing Spring Festival Day Tour
» Lantern Festival Experience Tour
» Beijing Spring Festival 6-Day Tour Package

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