Chinese New Year: Part II

Chinese New Year is just around the corner! This year’s Chinese New Year will be celebrated on February 16. Over the course of these few weeks, I am writing a series of posts to help introduce this great holiday.

The festivities for Chinese New Year actually begin on Chinese New Year’s Eve. The highlight of the evening is the 年夜饭 which in English is often called the reunion dinner. The dinner is traditionally very large and includes many different meat dishes with chicken and pork typically a must. Fish is also very common. In Hakka homes (Anny Grace is Hakka), we typically have eight dishes, each with a different featured meat. Pork, beef, chicken, duck, and fish are all a must.

Reunion dinner.
Reunion dinner.

In northern China, dumplings are an essential part of the reunion dinner meal, while 年糕 , “year cake” is often made and given as a gift to relatives and friends in the south.

After the meal, firecrackers are traditionally lit just outside the doorways of houses to scare away evil spirits and usher in the new year. Fireworks are also increasingly common. In modern China, New Year’s Gala is broadcast on television and watched by families throughout China in the hours leading up to midnight. The Gala includes musical, comedy, and drama performances and has hundreds of millions of viewers each year.

Firecrackers.
Firecrackers.

After all of these festivities, the big day has finally arrived – Chinese New Year…

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