Introduction Chinese New Year is one of the most important festivals in Taiwan. We do a lot of things and have special foods during Chinese New Year. Also, there are some taboos for this festival.
What we do during Chinese New Year ◆The day before Chinese New Year: We clean up the houses. => The meaning of house cleaning is sweeping out the old, and welcoming in the new.
What we do during Chinese New Year • After the house cleaning, we put up spring couplets on the doorway. Some people will write something good on a piece of long red paper by themselves, and some pay for the spring couplets.
Common sentences for the spring couplets • ＊ 恭賀新禧；財源滾滾 • Happy New Year; money runs here. • It means you can make lots of money in the coming year. • ＊ 年年有餘 • More fishes; more dishes. • It’s a symbol of fullness.
Common sentences for the spring couplets • ＊積善之家；必有餘慶 • Being helpful; being fruitful. • ＊施善納福 • Give and share; reward and • fortune. • It means being nice to others and others will be nice to you.
Common sentences for the spring couplets ＊一元復始；萬象更新 The beginning of a year symbolizes renewal. ＊兔年行大運 Good Luck in Year of Rabbit.
Common sentences for the spring couplets ＊天增歲月人增壽,春滿乾坤福滿門 Good wishes of prosperity; fortune and peace.
The meaning of pasting spring couplets • wish to make more money (2) get away from bad things (3) hope for good luck in the new year
What we do during Chinese New Year On Chinese New Year’s Eve, all the family members will come back to their hometowns and have a reunion dinner together.
What we do during Chinese New Year We set off firecrackers on New Year's Eve and on the morning of New Year’s Day. => It is a way of sending out the old year and welcoming in the New Year.
What we do during Chinese New Year ◆During Chinese New Year: We visit temples and pray for a Happy New Year on the first day of this festival.
What we do during Chinese New Year • Some people make wishes at the temple and some light the Life Lantern for good luck through the whole year.
What we do during Chinese New Year • On the second day, married daughters come back to their parents’ houses and people welcome the Wealth God on the fourth day.
What we do during Chinese New Year • We also visit our family and friends. We say “恭喜發財(Gung Shi Fa Tsai)” which means “ Have a Happy New Year and make a fortune” and exchange presents.
Common New Year’s Greetings • Best wishes for a healthy new year. (祝你新的一年身體健康) • Peace and joy to your family. (祝你闔家平安喜樂) • Peace through the coming year. (祝你新年事事順心) • I wish you riches and happiness for the New Year.(祝你新的一年財源廣進，萬事如意)
What we do during Chinese New Year Kids like us will get red envelopes with cash in it from adults. The money in red envelopes is for good luck. We call it “ lucky money.” We kids are really happy to get red envelopes.
throwing out the garbage => It means to throw out wealth. ●breaking anything => It means a broken family or a death in the family
talking about death => It is believed to bring bad luck for the whole year. ● The use of sharp instruments, such as knives and scissors => It is believed that these things could cut the fortune and bring bad luck in the coming year.
House cleaning on New Year’s Day => Sweeping or dusting should be finished by New Year’s Eve and can not be done on New Year’s Day for fear that good fortune and good luck will be swept away.
Crying => If we cry on New Year's day, we will cry through the whole year. • Using foul language => It is considered to bring bad luck.
Lending => All the debts should be paid by New Year's Eve ,and nothing should be lent during Chinese New Year. Anyone who does so will be lending all the year.
Yummy foods for Chinese New Year
sticky rice cake (Nian Gao) Its sweetness symbolizes a rich, sweet life;the round shape stands for family reunion. Its sound “niangao” is very similar to “nian nian gao sheng,“ which means getting better every year.
Radish cake The word “ radish” sounds like good luck in Taiwanese.
tangerines and oranges The Chinese words for tangerines and oranges sound like luck and wealth. The Chinese words for tangerines and oranges sound like luck and wealth.
A whole fish The Chinese word for fish “ Yu” means abundance. We eat fish because it symbolizesthat we won’t lack for anything in the coming year.
dumplings Dumplings are a symbol of money.Eating dumplings symbolizes thatpeople will make lots of money in the coming year.
A whole chicken • The word chicken in Taiwanese sounds like ”family”. A whole chicken for the reunion dinner is a symbol of the entire family being together and safe.
Noodles • Long noodles means long life. Therefore, we don’t cut the noodles when we eat them during Chinese New Year.
Hot Pot • Nowadays, we may prepare a hot pot for the reunion dinner. The round shape of hot pot symbolizes a family reunion.
References • Taboos and Superstitions of Chinese New Year http://education2.uvic.ca/Faculty/mroth/438/china/taboos.html • Chinese New Year taboos http://infopedia.nl.sg/articles/SIP_773__2009-01-02.html • Spring festival http://www.chinaculture.org/gb/en_focus/2005- 01/24/content_65330.htm • Chinese New Year Food http://chinesefood.about.com/od/chinesenewyear/a/symbolicnewyear.htm • 阿盛網站-生活資訊網-網頁素材 http://sheng.phy.nknu.edu.tw/shengwjs08/wjs-1312.htm
References • tangerines and oranges http://www.flickr.com/photos/21871133@N08/3659770274/ • sticky rice cake (Nian Gao) http://www.flickr.com/photos/clearwatertour/4042170807/ • dumplings http://forum.yorkbbs.ca/space/upload/2009/05/31/5173962046476_thumbnail.jpg • radish cake http://www.go2hn.com/dutushidai/images/hnms00043-2.jpg • A whole fish http://www.flickr.com/photos/kurtasbestos/3409168466/