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Chinese New Year Traditions -- "Kung Hei Fat Choi"

Updated on December 28, 2011

 

Chinese New Year Traditions -- "Kung Hei Fat Choi"

Kung Hei Fat Choi simply means "Happy New Year -- Congratulations and may you have fast wealth or be prosperous”. This year it will be celebrated on February 14, 2010.

YEAR 2010 -- is the Year of the Golden Tiger

It begins on February 14, 2010 until February 2, 2011. The Tiger is one of the most beautiful creatures on the planet -- feared and revered in equal measure. It features in many Asian cultures as a manifestation of courage, power, passion and royalty as well. The New year for Chinese always falls on different dates every year because it is a combination of the solar and lunar movements. It means winter is over and spring is beginning. Thus, Lunar New Year is also called the Spring Festival.

Chinese believe in the balance of nature, the Yin and the Yang that is why they also adhere to "feng shui" -- the believe that there is correlation between humans and the universe. It is also the ancient Chinese system of beauty and use of the laws of both -- astronomy -- and geography (heaven and earth) to help one improve life by receiving positive vibrations.

They also use different calendar different from the Roman calendar, that is why they have different date for the celebration of New Year.

 

CHINESE Calendar
CHINESE Calendar

 

What Does New Year means to Chinese?

According to a Chinese proverb : All creatures are reborn on New years Day and thus such it is a celebration for change. You should change all your behavior to bring good luck to you, put out the old behavior and here comes the new you in all aspects of your life. Chinese New Year is the longest and most important festivity in the Lunar Calendar. The origin of Chinese New Year is in itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. Ancient Chinese New Year is a reflection on how the people behaved and what they believed in the most ---

My Legacy

My grandfather is a half-Chinese half-Spaniard who migrated to the Philippines in the early 20thcentury from China because of poverty. He worked hard and then married one of the local -- my grandmother who is a native Filipina. Every year we celebrate two New Year, growing up a Christian it means we celebrate Christmas traditions and New Year as well (similar to the Western world) while we also celebrate the Chinese New Year. The Western type of culture which influenced me was brought about by the 300 years of colonization of the Philippines by the Spaniards and the American influence (they colonized the Philippines for fifty years) and leaving us the American way of school system. English is the language spoken in school although our national language is Filipino and we have 80 plus local dialects.

Chinese in the Philippines is a growing number of population mostly because of business and close relations and intermarriages to locals.

Chinese New Year Traditions:

New Year is the most important celebration and time of the year for Chinese.

Things to do:

  • Wear brand new clothes and cut your hair is like a new beginning for you, new outlook, new life, new beginning. Wear a red color dress. Never wear white as it is for mourning and signifies death.
  • Do not borrow money or lend money on that day
  • Don’t greet people who are in mourning, as death may occur to you and in your family
  • Don’t sweep the floor because you might sweep all the good luck coming in

Decorations at Home on New Years Day

  • You should decorate your home with symbols of wealth and fortune like bright red (means happiness) and Gold/orange (wealth and happiness)
  • Fruits like oranges and tangerines are good and then put it in the center table. This is for good health and long life
  • Get a circular tray and put some candies on it -- for togetherness
  • Get a flower vase and put fresh flowers on them
  • Your house should be be very lively; red is preferred, get banners with New Years wishes and gold colors on it, which is a symbol of fortune

Food On New Years day

  • Chicken should not be cut in pieces, (On my mother side we don’t cook chicken as it is bad luck but in my fathers side we do cook chicken because according to Chinese it symbolizes wealth)
  • Noodles connotes long life --- longevity, it should not be cut
  • Prepare a Jai -- it is a combination of food with good fortune --- comprises of ginkgo nuts == black moss == dried bean curd -- bamboo shoots and vermicelli plus scallion.
  • Desserts should always include oranges and Chinese New Year cake --ni gao-- plus prosperous cakes

Before the New Years eve, you should have done the following:

  • Pay all your debts
  • Clean the entire room and throw all the things that are associated with the old year
  • Put away all brooms and brushes
  • You should make peace with each other and avoid grudges with each family members. Settle dispute with every people
  • You need to have red envelope which you put money on it, “good luck envelopes” this is called "lee see" which you put money fresh bills from the bank to be given to children
  • On the New Years eve celebrate it with the close family members (excluding daughters who are already married)
  • Pay respect to your ancestors and household gods and you must acknowledge the presence of ancestors because they are responsible for the fortunes of future generations as well
  • Open every door and window in your home at midnight to let go of the old year. (BRRRRRR cold here in the Western world, we cant do this here)
  • Members of the family should go and pay respects to their elders on the first day of the Chinese New Year to wish them good health, good fortune. The -elders- include not only the older members but also anyone who is more senior.
  • You should also decorate your home with flowers like peach tree, potted mandarin orange tree -- and cut flowers

Now you are ready to celebrate the NEW YEAR the Chinese way.

KUNG HEI FAT CHOI to everyone!!

 

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    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Hi Lady E, thank you for dropping by and Kung Hei Fat Choi to you and your family, Maita

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      Beautiful Hub. I love the way it's celebrated and thanks for the History/background. What a lovely tradition.

      Thanks for writing Happy New Year in Chinese, I'll be texting it to my Chinese friends on 14 Feb - that will knock their socks off. lol.

      Best Wishes.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Hi RevLady, yes its different and I am glad for my legacy too, Kung hei Fat Choi my dear friend, Bless, Maita

    • RevLady profile image

      RevLady 7 years ago from Lantana, Florida

      What an interesting hub. I have been amazed at the Chinese celebration of New Year. It is colorful and different from most other cultures. Thanks!

      Forever His,

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Hi Tatto, they are nice and it will look good for a tattoo specially their characters, Thanks and cheers, Maita

    • profile image

      TattoGuy 7 years ago

      I really love this hub, plus you have given me an idea to do Chinese Symbol tattoos and their history, cheers Maita ; )

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Hello TinaV, I am glad you like China too, isn't that country beautiful? Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Hi ateenyi, thanks for reading this hub, Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      hi Truth, yes the COLTS will win, Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      hi pinkhawk, thanks for reading and appreciating it too, Kung Hei Fat Choi too and Happy valentines as well, enjoy your hearts day...

    • pinkhawk profile image

      pinkhawk 7 years ago from Pearl of the Orient

      wow interesting! :)... oh that's why Chinese do what they do...thank you for sharing ma'am! :)... advance Kung Hei Fat Choi and Happy Valentines also (feb 14)! :)

    • Truth From Truth profile image

      Truth From Truth 7 years ago from Michigan

      Yes definitely the Colts, Have a great Weekend.

    • ateenyi profile image

      ateenyi 7 years ago from Chicago

      Hugely Enjoyable Hub!!!!!!!!

      The celebration of New Year in Chinese style is effortlessly - classic. The hub provides very meticulous information in this regards. Thanks for sharing.

    • TINA V profile image

      TINA V 7 years ago

      Hi Maita, this calls for a double celebration... the Chinese New Year and the Valentine's Day. I was able to watch a dragon dance when I went to China a few years ago. I enjoyed their originality and customes. This is an informative hub about the Chinese tradition.

      Have a great week!

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
      Author

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Hi Cheeky my girl, which sign are you, Here's for your luck oh and you know Mabuhay, to you as well, good day., Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Hi Sage, the Yin and Yang are awesome priciples, the balance of nature, chinese culture is based on that too, Thnaks Sage and you have lots of blessings, Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Hey mama, dont forget to wear red, and incense too, Thanks, Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Hi hello, thanks for your nice compliments, Blessings, and three good lucks to you, happiness good life and money, Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Hi mtsi, thanks and I added yours to mine, Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Hi Quill, now what did you do in preparation for the New year, I really appreciate your compliments, nice one, are you still perfectiing your rituals hehe, and meeting your Chinese friends too, Thanks so much Quill, and Bless, Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Hi BK, have you cut your hair yet and new hairstyle? Hehe, You must be a hardworking woman like OBAMA< Kung Hei Fat Choi to you and many more blessings, happiness long life and good luck, Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Hi Dave, I am a Taurus, Kung Hei fat Choi too you as well, TC, Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Gong Xi Fa Cai to you too febrie, nice that you can have many celebrations there as well, I have never been to Indonesia, neighbor of the Philippines, lion dance and sticky rice are awesome, Thanks, Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Hey Mick, I have read your comments yesterday and I was smiling, they use a pole hehe, even Jabbar cant beat them LOL, Thanks and TC, Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Hi blpelton, nice of you to visit, Thanks, Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      hubby, thanks for your appreciation, I can understand Chinese but cant speak, I can speak simple only like ni hao ma, how are you?Wo Ai Ni -- I love you in Manadrin, have difficulty with Chinese characters..Thank you, Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Hi mystique thank you for appreciating this hub and eastern tradition, and for your nice compliments, Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Hi Katrina yes, golden tiger it may be your lucky year, maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      ASHWINSPGA, thanks for appreciating this hub and I like to watch Lion dance, fun isn't it, Kung Hei Fat Choi, Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      hi Sir David, I am glad you had fun and at least you experienced Chinese new year, lots of fun, do you still meet your Chinese friend, it must be fun in Hawaii too, xie xie--thanks, maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      yes, it is cold here TAMMY, but the sun is out today,YEHEY< ni hao ma--how are you in chinese? Thanks, Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Thanks Cris, Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      hi habee, thanks, Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Hi hypno, thanks, Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Hey T, yes I am happy for the Super Bowl as well too YEHEY, hmm are you rooting for the COLTS? Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      emie, should be wo henhao--I am fine

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      w? h?nh?o Emie, Ni hao ma? Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image
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      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Morning Ghost, thanks for reading this one, How are you my dear? Maita

    • emievil profile image

      emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

      Kung Hei Fat Choi Maita. Ni hao ma? That's all I know in Chinese LOL. Great hub, great traditions. It's a double celebration this year because Chinese New Year is also Valentine's Day. Wishing you good luck on this day both in love and wealth :).

    • Truth From Truth profile image

      Truth From Truth 7 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks Maita, I love new years eve. Now I will celebrate again. Happy New Year!!!

      also Happy Super Bowl!!!

    • hypnodude profile image

      Andrea 7 years ago from Italy

      Very interesting as usual Maita. It's always fascinating to know about others' culture. :)

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Great read, Maita! I didn't know much about this.

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Fascinating subject , Maita!!

    • Tammy Lochmann profile image

      Tammy Lochmann 7 years ago

      Great Hub Maita, Hope you are over the yucky weather we are having here. Thumbs up here.

    • Russell-D profile image

      Russell-D 7 years ago from Southern Ca.

      It was 1982. We were in Honolulu, guests of a Chinese Doctor who lived near Diamond Head. Food was fabulous, especially the BBQ Ribs and drink poured till early morn. Live Chinese music & American Jazz players entertained, but the evening's highlight was the firing of fireworks at midnight from every tree on his property. The explosives were deafening, but so colorful. Your friends the Chinese can get carried away. David Russell

    • ASHWINSPGA profile image

      ASHWINSPGA 7 years ago from Lion City ( Singapore)

      Chinese New Year is annually celebrated with great fanfare by the Chinese here in Singapore. Back then we had firecrackers but it has been banned since. sigh...

      I love to watch the lion dances and the smell of the traditionally cooked barbercued pork never fail to make my mouth water. Can't wait for Feb 14 to arrive. Great work on the hub Miss Maita. A really cool way to introduce the Chinese New Year to the rest of us. You got a new fan.

    • Katrina Ariel profile image

      Katrina Ariel 7 years ago from The Highlands of British Columbia, Canada

      Maita,

      I really like this one. Didn't know it was the year of the GOLDEN tiger! Excellent. Thanks for writing this hub - I've learned a lot. :)

    • Mystique1957 profile image

      Mystique1957 7 years ago from Caracas-Venezuela

      Love customs and habits from the Orient! I wasn`t as well acquainted with Chinese New Year as I am with the Japanese, who celebrate both styles as well.

      Great Hub, Maita!

      Liked it!

      Two thumbs up!

      warm regards,

      Mystique

    • hubby7 profile image

      hubby7 7 years ago from Chicago

      Hi Prettydarkhorse. You are prolific as ever. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your hub. It was both interesting and informative to read. I have a growing interest in both Chinese history and the Chinese language. Thank you for a great hub. And Kung Hei Fat Choi to you! Question: Do you speak Chinese?

    • blpelton profile image

      blpelton 7 years ago

      Cool hub !! thx!!

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      This is a great hub. The tall guys at the front must be on the basketball team. Our guys can never beat them. They wouldn't have to dribble. They could just pass and dunk. Thanks

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 7 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      Kung Hei Fat Choi Maita sweetie! Which sign were you born under?

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      I'm looking forward to this golden tiger year! And thanks for the handy list - I do have to clear out the clutter of last year - the earth ox year. I'm an ox by the way (as is President Obama). I'm an earth ox.

      Thanks for the information - the clock is ticking - I have to get on the ball. It is time for some good change this new year. And prosperity of course!

    • febriedethan profile image

      febriedethan 7 years ago from Indonesia

      Maita, this year the Chinese celebrations will be so bright in my town, there will be many of dragon dances :) Some of Chinese people in my country used to eat fish, because in mandarin, fish may pronounce as yu, it's almost the same as luck or prosperity (in mandarin). We will avoid porridge, and most of the things you've mentioned above. Chinese people in Indonesia used to make a sticky and sweet cake from sticky rice, we call it 'kue ranjang' and we will share the cake with family, friends, neighbors, and many unfortune people for good luck.

      Gong Xi Fa Cai and may this New Year will bring you luck and happiness :) Thank you for sharing !

    • profile image

      "Quill" 7 years ago

      Kung Hei Fat Choi back at you Maita...I have always been a lover of great traditional Chinese food and have made many good friends, owners of eating establishments. The New Years Blessings is something I learned a long while ago. They all laugh at my attempts but they understand.

      Cultures and traditions are so important to the makeup and fabric of our society and so important we take the time to learn what they are and what they mean...

      Thank you for this hub...you are a blessing

      Many Hugs

    • profile image

      mtsi1098 7 years ago

      Well done and Happy New Year (In advance)...I will have some cake if there is any left over :) - Have a happy and safe celebration...Adding to my Gyro hub...

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      I love hubs like this, about other people's cultures and believes. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and thank you very much. Write some more. KUNG HEI FAT CHOI TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. Thank you for your good wishes.

    • Mama Sez profile image

      Mama Sez 7 years ago from Canada

      Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day coincide this year and both celebrations suggest wearing red. I will definitely be wearing red :) Another great hub Maita!

    • Sage Williams profile image

      Sage Williams 7 years ago

      Maita, Excellent hub, I have always loved the Chinese culture and hope to get to China someday. I have always been a firm believer in Yin and Yang, the correlation between humans and the universe.

      I love the list of all the things that should be done before th New Year. Leaves a lot to think about.

      Sage

    • Cheeky Girl profile image

      Cassandra Mantis 7 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

      Hy Maita, cool hub! The Chinese new year calendar is very unusual. I am interested in knowing more about it. I like that there is a different animal celebrated every year! Lovely hub as always, my friend! Mabuhay! : )

    • Ghost Whisper 77 profile image

      The IGNITER vs Corrupted Governments 7 years ago from The U.S. Government protects Nazi War Criminals

      Very interesting to know Chinese culture and New Years traditions. I learned a lot I didn't know with this hub! Good job Maita!