Chinese New Year starts Monday, February 8th, and until a few years ago, I never really thought about the holiday. Like many celebrations in other countries, it was “off my radar.” Then, in 2013, my son, his wife and our four grandblessings moved to China and began working at New Day Foster Home outside of Beijing. Suddenly, China was on my radar.
Because many of our artisans live with their families in China, I wanted to learn more about the holiday and how it was celebrated, so I interviewed our Scarlet Threads liaison, Leeann.
She was gracious enough to share her experience with us. Here’s what she had to say:
"We usually celebrate the New Year starting on January 23rd. We call this ‘Lunar Day.’ We start cleaning all of the house, doing the washing, and shopping. We kill a pig, chicken or sheep, fry churros, fry meatballs, meat, etc. On New Years Eve, we hang red couplets on our gates and doors.
“Also on the eve of the New Year, all the family gets together to have dinner. After 20:00, we will watch TV-watching the new year celebration programs, and at 24:00, we all eat dumplings together and then set off fireworks! Most of the young men stay up the whole night, and we leave the lights on all night.
“On the first day of the New Year, we will have a dumpling breakfast together, and then we go to the homes of all our friends and relatives and say, ‘Happy New Year!’ They will give the kids money or candy!
“Before the 10th day of the first lunar month on the calendar, we mainly play cards together, visit with friends and eat together. This is relationship building time, it is the main holiday when people will return to their hometown to be with friends and family and spend time together. We will go back to work after the 10th.
“For us, the New Year means that everything is new….we welcome the new day and look forward to peace and hope; a chance to forget all the old things and start the new!”
Speaking of "new," Leeann just gave birth to a beautiful new baby daughter, named SunYue. Congratulations, Leeann! Happy New Year, indeed.