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Chinese New Year: Is it for the Christians?

Updated on March 30, 2011
The famous Dragon Dance (Image Source: China Pictures)
The famous Dragon Dance (Image Source: China Pictures)
Festive decorations of Lunar New Year (http://www.chinapictures.org/)
Festive decorations of Lunar New Year (http://www.chinapictures.org/)
Chinese New Year Comment or Greetings
Chinese New Year Comment or Greetings

Of Dragon Dance, Lanterns and Firecrackers

Firecrackers, Chinese New Year Ornament
Firecrackers, Chinese New Year Ornament

Gong Xi Fa Cai!!! (Kong Hei Fat Choi)

With so many Chinese people around the world, how could we not know or be familiar with their way of celebrating new year? Annually, every month of January or February, millions of Asians return to their homeland in Asia to celebrate Chinese New Year.

One American writer said, “It’s like a mixture of New Year, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas.” It is also called Lunar New Year, Feast of Spring, Chun Jie (China), Tet (Vietnam), Solnal (Korea) and Losar (Tibet).

In preparation of the fiesta, people are cleaning their houses and decorating it, they buy new clothes, they prepare food that can bring good luck and prosperity, they pay their debts at solve whatever misunderstanding they’ve been involved. During the first day of New Year, they greet one another "Gong Xi Fa Cai" and exchange gifts for health and prosperity, they give money put in ang pao or red envelope which is consider to be lucky, they eat delicious kinds of food, watch and play fireworks and the dragon dance together with their families and friends.

“ The goal of the whole family, friends and relatives is to prosper in business or be wealthy, pay tribute to the gods, ancestors and spirits and to have a lucky year ahead.” (Mooncakes and Hungry Ghosts:Festivals of China) There’s a Chinese proverb that states: “ If your drink water, don’t forget where it came from.” It signifies that many Asians have great respect with their parents and ancestors. Because they owe their lives to the parents, it is but natural for the offspring give back the respect they should receive.

Superstitions and Spiritualism

There’s a connection between the Chinese New Year and astrology. In the lunar calendar, it is named after one of the 12 zodiac animals each year-like the dragon, tiger, monkey, rabbit and others. Chinese people believe that these animals influence the personality of a person born in a particular year. Another belief during Chinese New Year involves giving tribute to the gods of wealth and fortune to bring luck.

According to the Bible, God never approve or allow “believers in astrology or fortune-tellers.” Yes, most of us are being enslave by the superstitions, but we are freed and saved by the truth of the Bible (John 8:32)

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    • travel_man1971 profile image
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      Ireno Alcala 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Charles: Thank you for opening the eyes of those who are blinded by worldly glitter and merriment.

    • profile image

      Charles 5 years ago

      Don't celebrate Chinese New Year. It has nothing to do with Christians. Our Faith in Christ only. You can't have both worlds...I mean God and satan.

    • travel_man1971 profile image
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      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Anne: Confusion always stirs our steadfast belief in God. As long as we hold on to the TRUTH, FAITH and EVERLASTING LOVE that He had promise to us His people, those manly celebration will just come and go in our surroundings unnoticed.

      Although, we appreciate the creativity or ingenuity of men, this will not please God, just like what happened with the Israelites (who made an calf icon) while waiting for Moses to come down the mountain who carried the two stone tablets for God's Ten Commandments.

    • travel_man1971 profile image
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      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Standing on the word: I agree with you. Most people and most religious denomination are fixated on tangible objects that are used in practicing their spiritual beliefs.

      At first, I am persuaded by the holidays made by men, although God reminds us that we should save the 7th day for prayer and rest day.

    • profile image

      Anne 6 years ago

      I have been invited by a devout Chinese Christian to celebrate the Chinese New Year. I too, as a Western Christian, had some reserves/concerns. I will be attending, in part due to what I read in the below link, but also because we are coming together in the name of Christ to celebrate what is New - the year, our lives in Christ, the daily opportunities he presents us as we wake up every new day. I firmly believe that there is a difference between pagan and Christian emphasis/focus, but also understand that both groups have added their traditions and leanings into this celebration. It's a matter of picking carefully the Spirit in which it is celebrated.

      https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Chinese-N...

    • profile image

      Standing on the word 6 years ago

      I would like to say I am fairly new to this webite. I was simply browsing through because I am suppose to be apart of our chinese new year party at work. I am a christian and the Holy Spirit led me to look up the meaning and what was actually being celebrated in this chinese new year celebration. I will be the first to say I respect everyone and I would never disrespect anyone intentionally but I will not celebrate anything that honors any other god but the Living God. I understand it is a family celebration but all these things that are being done in these 15 days are for all these gods approval. It goes against what the bible says and I wont be apart of it. If you are a christian you stand on the word of God even if you have to do it alone. I dont celebrate Halloween and my sisters and in-laws have a fit. I have read the history of Halloween and I wil not celebrate it because of the meaning behind it. There is nothing wrong with being with your family but you cannot serve TWO gods. Have a blessed day all.

    • travel_man1971 profile image
      Author

      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @iPhone fan: Thanks for reiterating your side. I hope other Chinese will be open like you to a critic and researcher like me.

      Filipino culture is heavily influenced by Chinese people. At home, my mother used to prepare those 12 kinds of round fruits during Chinese New Year.

      My inquisitive mind just want to clarify something about things we practice. Chinese New Year is only one of those things I began to ponder on.

    • profile image

      iPhone fan 6 years ago

      As a Chinese Christian, I have to say that there is certain aspects of traditions that counter the teachings in the Bible in Chinese New Year (i.g. astrology); however, for most Chinese people, it's a cultural event and a family event. It's not meant to be a spiritual event in any shape or form. It the New Year celebration based on the lunar calendar. For Chinese Christians, we celebrate the Chinese New Year because it's a time to be with our family or loved ones. It's a time to have special meals.

    • travel_man1971 profile image
      Author

      Ireno Alcala 7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      I agree. It's their belief.

    • thesailor profile image

      thesailor 7 years ago from Seven Seas

      I think, it's not for the Christians because it opposes the teachings of the Bible.

    • travel_man1971 profile image
      Author

      Ireno Alcala 8 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Very nice comment, bacville. I think, I'm learning from you. I have nothing against Chinese people.Even though, they're responsible for the booming business here in the Philippines, they're also responsible in bringing drugs here.

    • bacville profile image

      bacville 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Filipinos have been influenced by Chinese culture and traditions. Even our forefathers have Chinese blood. You see, Filipinos are mixed race of people ( Americans, Europeans,Asians, Africans) with different culture. Yet ev celebrations or festivals being observed here in the Philippines are wholly and heartily accepted by the people, regardless of their religious affiliation. I think, Christians should also respect Chinese traditions, travelman. Thank you for sharing this hub.

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