A Day-by-day Guide on the🧧Chinese New Year Celebration🧧
Day 1 - Send Kitchen God Away 送灶神 🧑🏻🍳
Kitchen God 灶君/灶王爷 [zào jūn / zào wáng yé] is one of the most important domestic gods in Chinese culture as he can determine a family's fortune for the whole year. His duties include watching over the domestic affairs of a family and compiling a report on their deeds. On the day of 小年 Little Year (7 days before the Lunar New Year), the Kitchen God ascends to heaven to report back to the Jade Emperor, who then decides whether to reward or punish the family based on what he's heard. As a result, families will offer Kitchen God candies or other sweet & sticky treats to sweeten his mouth. The old paper effigy of the Kitchen God will be burned to represent the send-off, and replaced by a new one for the come-back.
Day 2 - House Cleaning 辞旧迎新 🧼🧹🧺
Out with the Old, In with the New - In Chinese, 尘 (dust) is a homophone for the word 陈 [chén] which means Old, therefore, a year-end cleaning is thought to be crucial to drive away stagnation and bad luck from the house in preparation for a new start. All curtains, beddings and every corner in your house need to be cleaned in order to welcome the New Year in a clean environment. This is also a good time to throw out / donate the old stuff that you never use to make more space for new things.
Day 3 - Make Tofu 做豆腐
Apart from dumplings, tofu is actually another food for the New Year because the word "tofu" sounds like the Chinese phrase "头福 tou fu", which literally means first dibs on good fortune. It is believed that tofu can bring good luck and happiness to the entire family.
Day 4 - Share Pork 分年肉 🥩🍖🔪
Before industrial farming and supermarkets, meat was a luxury and was fairly inaccessible. To ensure a bountiful New Year's feast, people would reserve a big piece of pork from the market in advance. The rare occasion of sharing a meat-filled meal came to promise abundance of the New Year. Although we no longer view meat the same way, the sentiment of sharing still remains.
Day 5 - FU Upside-Down 贴福字 🖍🧧🙃
To repel evil spirits and bring good fortune to the new year, house entrances are usually decorated with red 春联 Spring Festival couplets of varying content and a big 福 Fu character upside-down. "福 Fú" means blessing /fortune/ happiness. It is often written on a diamond-shaped paper and displayed upside-down on the front door to signify the arrival of good fortune because the phrase "福倒了 Fu upside-down" is homophonous to the phrase "福到了 Good luck has arrived".
Day 6 - New Haircut 剪头发 💇🏻♀️✨
The New Year is all about a fresh start, and an easy way to shake things up is getting a new cut. Old strands not only have split ends, but may contain bad luck from last year-- so snip those tiresome spirits away! But don't wait too long before your next hair appointment because cutting hair after the first day of Lunar New Year is considered bad luck as well.
Day 7 - Honor Ancestors 祭祖日 🙏🧑🏻🦳👨🏼🦳
As another year passes, it is important to remember those who have come before us. Ancestral worship is an integral part of celebrating the New Year, it's done by burning paper money and paper mâché of things they once enjoyed. While food, drinks and entertainment are appreciated, the deceased may also have alcohol and nicotine cravings. 😛🍸🚬
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