Chinese New Year: lantern festival

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What is the Chinese New Year, where it takes place and what are the celebrations for the so-called lantern festival, a celebration very much felt by the population that takes place in the period before spring according to the Chinese tradition.


Chinese New Year

Assuming that in the traditional Chinese calendar the months begin with the new moon, it can be said that the New Year's day coincides with the first day of the first lunar month.

This means that the beginning of the year always takes place between January 21 and February 19 of the Gregorian calendar.


How long does it last

The celebration period, starting from that date, lasts fifteen days and even if the work activities are suspended only on some days, each day is dedicated to different customs, until it ends with the Lantern Festival.

Spring festival

Chinese New Year, also called Spring Festival, is celebrated not only in China but also in other Far Eastern countries and in every part of the world where Chinese communities are located.

In China it is customary to return to the country of origin to spend this heartfelt holiday together with parents and family, the preparation of which starts a few days earlier, cleaning the house, which means to wipe out the bad luck accumulated during the past year, and hanging decorations of good wishes for the new year, usually of paper or canvas of red color.


Celebrations

During this period, lions and dragons dance on the streets of the cities, as a sign of good omen for the new year, so that he will be rich and lucky.

On the evening of New Year's Eve it is customary to have a rich family feast, while it is typical of the following day to go to visit relatives and close friends.

Each of the following days is characterized by a particular tradition, such as that concerning the second day, reserved for the visit of the parents by married women or, on the third and fourth day, it is customary to stay at home, being also days dedicated to the commemoration of the deceased.


Lantern festival

To conclude, the Lantern Festival takes place on the fifteenth day, which takes place on the first full moon night of the year.

It is a day that is usually spent in the family, eating typical dishes, including Yuanxiao, a sweet ball made of glutinous rice flour or wheat flour with a filling inside.

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In the evening there are fireworks, while lanterns of various shapes and colors illuminate the night and show some pieces of paper where riddles to be revealed and greetings for the new year are written.

Lantern Festival celebrated across China (August 2021)


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