Chinese Culture Index

more Festivals information


New Year's Eve

New Year

Full Moon Day

New Year's Eve

For several days leading up to Chinese New Year, people will prepare festive food, presents to friends & relatives, cleaning and re-decorating the house, settling all the debts etc.

Traditionally, numbers of mouthwatering dishes, each of which has its own significance with auspicious names, are offered to the Heavenly Gods and the ancestors, as thanks for all the blessings during the year. Then the letting off firecrackers will mark the end of the year before New Year Eve's dinner with all the family members.

After the New Year's Eve Dinner

Lucky Money 'Ngat Shui Chin'

This is given to the children by their parents and Grandparents, traditionally the coins were tied with red string and hang around the neck of the children as a protection charm. Nowadays this changes to money being put in a 'Red Packet' (see photo) as a symbol of good luck.

Red Packet

The effigies of the 'Gate Gods'

The posters are pasted to the back of the front door, as a house protector's symbol.

Lucky Charms

Newly written "Lucky Charms" will be hanged on prominent places in order to attract good wishes.

Examples of Lucky Charms

Business Prosperity

Best of Health

Wishes come true


Prohibited to use any sweeping equipment

Brooms, brushes and any sweeping equipments are not allowed to be used after the New Year Eve dinner and during the first day of the New Year, otherwise it symbolizes wealth will be swept away.

Wealth God

Some people will knock on doors with "Wealth God" written on a piece of red paper, they will say "Receive Wealth God" when people open the door, in exchange for a "Red Packet Money" as good auspicious sign.

New Year Fair

Few days leading up to New Year, a fair was traditionally held, and still is in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Singapore etc. All manner of food required for the celebrations would be on sale together with the seasonal flowers needed for decoration. Many people wait until the last night of the fair to make their purchase in the hope that the prices of all products would be cheaper since the traders would be anxious to sell all their stock before the fair finishes.


At the midnight of New Year's day, all temples will be full of people praying to Heavenly God to bless the whole family for another prosperous New Year.

New Year

On the New Year morning, firecrackers were traditionally set off to welcome the New Year. Family members and friends greet with 'Kung Hay Fat Choy' (Wish you will earn more money) to each other, in return children and the unmarried receive 'Red Packet Money' from their parents, relatives and friends.

Kung Hay Fat Choy

Visit family members & friends

On the first, second and fourth day onwards, rounds of visit take place, firstly to family members and then to friends. It used to be obligatory to take a gift of food (such as a tin of sweets but never biscuits because it sounds like "sickness" in Cantonese) to each house visited, some of which would be returned to signify as good auspicious. Exchange of 'Red Packet Money' is never ending between families to each others children. Visitors will also be offered sweeties, dry melon seeds, persevered sweet lotus seeds, dry coconut etc from an eight-sided tray and Chinese traditional New Year food.

Third Day of New Year

Traditionally, no visit should take place on the third day as this day may trigger arguments between family members or friends.

Birthday of all Human Beings

According to the Chinese Calendar, on the 7th day of the New Year is the birthday of all human beings, people become one year older.

Full Moon Day

The 15th day is the Lantern Festival when lanterns are carried in procession around the streets together with dragon chasing after the fire ball.

Competitions are also held to reveal the hidden meaning of the verses written on the Lanterns. This day is also equivalent of the Western Valentine's Day.

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