The Chinese Spring Festival also referred to as Chun Jie, according to the Chinese Lunar calendar is a celebration of the New Year. The festival is relevant to not only China but also countries with relations and countries with Chinese populations like Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. The festival has several relevance to the Chinese people and has been practiced for hundreds of decades. Apart from the belief that the festival cleanses bad omens, the festival is thought to bring luck and blessings in the rest of the year. Blessings are in the form of good health, success in business, fertility, and beauty of women and brightness in the life of children. Besides, the festival is practiced so as to bring long life to the elderly. The date for the beginning of the festival fluctuates each coming year. The fluctuation in times to celebrate the New Year comes about as a result of the calculation made using the lunar calendar, which differs with the average solar calendar. However, the end of December marks the preparation of the holiday, the festival itself comes when January is ending or the beginning of February. The festival is a time for individuals to reunite with their families for the most important celebration of the region.
The festival is flooded with cultural activities and practices that make the celebration one of a kind. Among the practices that are repeated every year is the decoration of space. Red colour dominates most of the decorations and material hang on doors, and other space has poetic writings. People exchange goods with red packages and envelopes that contain money. The festival comes only once a year, and it is a time where most workers go to their hometowns to celebrate the season with families and friends and relatives. Chris and Adam, in The New York Times, interview a construction worker heading to Chengdu village to see his father, he says, “He always wanted a flat-screen television, so I’m taking mine home to give him” (Buckley). Gifting family members with their wishes seem important to him. Nonetheless, this does not conflict with the traditional red packaged gifts since Chris and Adam also noticed the red colours of the clothes of most passengers at the station. Bringing gifts to families and friends is important. Especially, considering that such a reunion only comes once a year and most people are stuck to their workplaces for the rest of the year. Other gifts that are associated with the festival are mainly food stuff. Such could include oranges, sweets, and candy. People who board the train often compete to board trains and find space for gifts. Making other happy and wishing them luck is an essential part of the season.
The new moon indicates the beginning of a new season that the Chinese people attempt to set off luck through the festival. The time of the celebration, in essence, is associated with the critical phase when the moon changes shape. The change in the form of the moon is considered a shift in heaven and therefore the season is also religious. The festival is both respects for the ancestors and deities that work for the Chinese people and gods in heaven. The old year is also being sent off, and some recurrent practices mark the significant transition. Praying in the temple is believed to bring good luck. As Xinua writes in the China Daily, “Besides dumplings, Chinese New Year is a time for temple fairs, red lanterns, paper-cuts, blessings of good fortune and ancestor worship” (Xinua). Setting firecrackers is an important part of the festival, and it is believed that the louder the crackers, the more the blessings. The holiday season is a part of the tradition and culture of the people of Chinese origin. Such a cultural practice is not just an ugly celebration. The history of practice for years binds people to their tradition. Just like Thanksgiving and Christmas is important to other nations, the binding nature of such a celebration unites and brings a country together. Honouring their traditions together and celebrating with family and friends.
In conclusion, the New Year spring festival, for the Chinese marks not only a time for relatives and friends to reunite but also a significant transition in the lifetime of an individual. The New Year marks a time where people are supposed to seek for blessings for the New Year. The tradition calls for cleaning of the house. At the end of the season, people do not wash their clothes so as not to wash away the blessings gained. Away from the culture and beliefs of the Chinese people. The tradition has a symbolic meaning. There is no other time in the whole year when people travel to their home villages in such huge numbers to be with their families. The season has a huge impact on not only China but the whole Chinese region. The religious symbolism of the seasons renews the beliefs of people and gives them a sense of cultural belonging. The red coloured theme is an emblem of warmth, love, and passion that is felt across the region. Also, the festival brings people together due to the cultural practices like the Dragon and Lion dance that are part of the festival.
BUCKLEY, CHRIS, and ADAM WU. “Chinese New Year: Inside the World’s Largest Trek.” The New York Times, [New York], 17 Jan. 2017.
Xinua. “Spring Festival enchants foreigners.” China Daily, 28 Jan. 2017, www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2017-01/28/content_28070591.htm. Accessed 3 Feb. 2017.
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