Chinese Culture Index

more Festivals information





Contents

Introduction

Thanks Giving - for Good Harvests

Kitchen God - Celestial Visit








Introduction

Chinese New Year is the most vital festival which marks the new beginning of the year, it normally falls between 20th January and 20th February according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar. New Year is a good beginning, when firecrackers are let off at the midnight of the New Year Day, whatever was bad and unhappy will vanish without trace.

There are many myths, legends, traditions and ceremonies associated with New Year celebrations and these can differ from north to south and from province to province in China.

For the oversea Chinese, Lion & Dragon Dance together with a special festive market (consist of a number of Chinese Culture stalls, food stalls and Calligraphy stalls etc.) are always part of the program in China town around the globe to welcome the Chinese New Year.

Every year in London, numbers of "Lion Dance" collecting "Lucky Red Packet" from shops around the area, which starts from morning till late in the evening. One of the shop's "Lucky Red Packet" normally contains over US$15,000, and the amount keeps increasing every year as a sign of their business prosperity. The "Lucky Red Packet" is arranged in a difficult way so that the "Lion" will have to employ their skillful Martial Arts technique to collect, and such occasion should not be missed.






Thanks Giving - for Good Harvests


The day normally falls on the 22nd or 23rd December of the Solar Calendar before Chinese New Year, which coincides with the shortest day of the year. According to the Chinese legend, this day is one of the most important days in the Year.



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Celebration

Family members will gather together to have a big feast and making glutinous rice dumplings.

Dumpling


Glutinous flour dough shaped into small round ball and stuffed with a small piece of brown sugar, pre-cook in boiling water and eat with ginger soup. (see photos below)

Symbolic meaning of the Dumpling

Closer ties, warmer affection and prosperity within the family.

Method of cooking

(A)

Small piece of brown sugar in dough after mixing glutinous flour with warm water

(B)

Shape into small round ball

(C)

(1) Pre-cook dumplings - two pints of water in saucepan, when water boil, add in dumplings, cook for three minutes.

(2) Ginger soup - water, two or three slices of ginger and brown sugar in saucepan, bring to boil, then add in (1) above without water.


(D)

Yummy!





Kitchen God - Celestial Visit


Traditionally the Kitchen God (or Lord of the Hearth) rested in a shrine above the stove. A farewell dinner would be held and the offerings made to the God on the 12th Chinese Lunar month and the date is according to your profession; 23rd for the Government officers, 24th day for the ordinary people or 25th day for the boat people.



Kitchen Gods' Duty

He ascends to heaven to submit report on the family's performance during the previous twelve months, and will return on the fourth day of the Chinese New Year to resume his duty.

Purpose of Offering

A farewell dinner with different special dishes would be offered to the Kitchen God on the day, praying to him to conceal the faults, but only emphasize the good deed of the family throughout the year in his report, and wishing him to bring blessing & prosperity to the family for the coming year.

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