The sound of fireworks exploding in January night sky can only mean one thing, the arrival of the Chinese New Year, the most elaborate and important event in Chinese culture. This was a time for the Chinese to congratulate each other and themselves on having passed through another year, a time to finish out the old, and to welcome in the new year. The Chinese calendar names each of the years (in a twelve year cycle) after an animal, and for this year it is the Year of The Rooster.
Chinese new year, as the name implies, is the celebration of the beginning of the first day of the lunar calendar. It signified turning over a new leaf and starting anew. Socially, it is a time for family reunions, and for visiting friends and relatives. This holiday, more than any other Chinese holiday, stressed the importance of family ties. The Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner gathering or Tuan Yuan Fan(团圆饭) was among the most important family occasions of the year.
On new year day, children are usually given red packets or red envelops called Hong Bao (红包) containing money to symbolize good luck and fortune. On that day as well everyone wears new clothes to symbolize new beginnings and will usually go out to visit friends and relatives, taking with them gifts and Hong Baos
Chinese new year to me, and to many others represents a time for families to gather, to find time in their busy schedule to reunite, no matter how far or how busy one is. A time for us to have a meal together, a time for us to catch up on each other’s lives and plans for the future, and of course for the children, one of the few times to be able to play with firecrackers.
On this auspicious Chinese New Year, from all of us at UTPWrig, we wish you a happy Year of the Rooster and Happy Chinese New Year!