The Spring Festival is also called Chinese Lunar New Year. Being one of the traditional Chinese festivals, it is the grandest and most important festival for Chinese people. It is also the time for whole families to get together, which is similar to Christmas for Westerners.
It comes on the first day of Chinese lunar calendar and lasts for almost half of a month. But in folk custom, this traditional holiday lasts from the 23rd day of the twelfth month to the 15th day of the first month (The Lantern Festival) on the lunar calendar.
In folk culture, celebrating the Lunar New Year is also called “guonian” (literally meaning “passing a year”). It is said that the “nian” (year) was a fierce and cruel monster, and every day, it ate one kind of animal including human beings. Human beings were naturally scared and had to hide on the evening when the “nian” came out. Later, people found that the monster was afraid of the red color and fireworks. So after that, people used the red color and fireworks or firecrackers to drive away “nian”. As a result, the custom has remained to this day.
新 春 佳 节
传统中国节日：traditional Chinese festival
除夕：Lunar New Year’s Eve
春节：the Spring Festival
正月初一：Lunar New Year’s Day
元宵节：the Lantern Festival
正月：the first month of the lunar year
二月二：Dragon Heads-raising Day
传 统 习 俗
喝腊八粥：eat Laba porridge
扫尘：sweep the dust
祭灶：offer sacrifices to the God of Kitchen
拜年： pay a New Year’s call
祭祖：offer sacrifices to one’s ancestors
祭财神：worship the God of Wealth
春联：Spring Festival couplets
贴倒福：paste the Chinese character “Fu” upside down
去晦气：get rid of the ill-fortune
辞旧岁：bid farewell to the old year
阖 家 团 圆
吃团圆饭：have a family reunion dinner
年夜饭：New Year’s Eve dinner
办年货：do Spring Festival shopping
敬酒：propose a toast
穿新衣：wear new clothes
压岁钱：gift money；money given to children as a Lunar New Year gift
春 节 美 食
年糕：rice cake；New Year cake
饺子：dumplings；Chinese meat ravioli
汤圆：dumplings made of sweet rice
八宝饭：eight-treasure rice pudding (steamed glutinous rice with bean paste, lotus seeds, preserved fruit, etc.)
糖莲子：candied lotus seed
蜜冬瓜：candied winter melon
瓜子：red melon seeds
冰糖葫芦：candied haws on a stick
民 间 艺 术
年画：New Year painting
秧歌：Yongko dance；rural folk dance
娱 乐 活 动
春节联欢晚会：Spring Festival gala
灯会：exhibit of lanterns
送贺卡：send New Year’s greeting cards
理发：have a haircut
放烟花：set off fireworks
放鞭炮：set off firecrackers
灯谜：riddles written on lanterns
各 路 神 仙
门神：the God of Door
灶神：the God of Kitchen
财神：the God of Wealth
土地爷：the God of Land
火神：the God of Fire
喜神：the God of Happiness
福禄寿三星：the three gods of fortune, prosperity and longevity
八仙：the Eight Immortals
Treasures fill the home
Peace all year round
Wishing you prosperity
Harmony brings wealth
May all your wishes come true
Everything goes well
The country flourishes and people live in peace
Money and treasures will be plentiful
Wishing you every success Promoting to a higher position
Safe trip wherever you go
Wish you happiness and prosperity in the coming year!
Wish you success in your career and happiness of your family!
May the joy of New Year be with you throughout the year.
Peace and love for you at New Year from all your students.
Wishing you a sparkling New Year and bright happy New Year! May the season bring much pleasure to you.
Wishing you all the blessings of a beautiful New Year season.