Chinese New Year in China is very special and interesting. From New Years Eve and then throughout the next two weeks you hear fireworks at all times of the day and night. New Year’s Eve is the worse – it starts at around 4pm and doesn’t stop until 2am (maybe).
This year is the year of the snake – my loving mom’s year! Which sounds really bad, but there are actually cute snake decorations hanging up all over our city. I never thought I would use cute and snake in the same sentence, but there you go – thanks China!
One of the big traditions on New Year’s Eve is to watch the New Year’s Gala on TV. It is the biggest show that China produces all year. It is a variety show that shows the best singers, dancers, actors and comedians. My husband and I watched it this year. One thing that we really enjoyed was the way they highlighted normal people. This year they featured train workers, custodians and teachers. It was really nice to see the attention given to the “little people for a few minutes.
At this time of year everyone in China also journey’s to their hometown to visit family and friends. That makes it way too quiet around our apartment with all of our Chinese friends gone.
Before my friend Ran Ran left we were talking about traditions. Apparently you are not supposed to clean for a few days after Chun Jia, because you would be cleaning someone out of your family. It reminded me of something my mom used to say about New Years Day in the states. She said that you couldn’t wash clothes on New Years day because you would wash someone out of your life.
There are also many traditional foods to eat – dumplings for luck and sweet rice cakes on lantern festival. Those special foods also remind me of my southern roots – collards for dollars, black eyed peas for pennies and pork for luck.
All in all Chun Jia this year has been relaxing and it has also reminded me of home in the oddest ways! Chun Jie Kuai Le, everyone!