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January 23, 2024
In the past, people pasted paper cutouts on windows facing south and north before the Spring Festival. Paper cutouts are colored lucky red, with beautiful and exaggerated patterns. They express hopes of a merry and prosperous life, in line with the Spring Festival theme.
Spring couplets are paired phrases, typically seven Chinese characters each, written on red paper in black ink, and pasted on each side of a door frame. Sometimes a phrase of four or five characters is affixed to the top of the door frame as well.
It's tradition across China to hold a lavish feast to celebrate the New Year. Chinese try very hard to make this family event, often traveling long distances.
In Northern China a traditional dish for the feast is jiaozi. They are shaped like old Chinese ingots, symbolizing wealth. Southern Chinese eat niangao (sticky rice cake) on this special day, because niangao sounds like "yearly higher", symbolizing improvement.People set off firecrackers to celebrate the coming of the New Year, as well as to drive away evil.
On the first day of the lunar New Year, Chinese wish each other good luck and happiness in the New Year. It is customary for the younger generation to visit their elders and wish them health and longevity.
People who are unable to visit their friends or relatives send a WeChat red packet or a text message instead of paying a New Year's call.
The red packet is a red envelope with money in it, which ranges from one to a few thousand Chinese yuan.
Usually the red packet is given by adults and elderly to young children in New Year days. It was believed money in the red packet would ward off evil spirits and keep children healthy.Digital red packets have gone viral in recent years, and "grabbing red packets" has become an extremely popular game on WeChat.