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Chinese New Year Preparations

刊登日期: 2013.02.03
作者: Grace Tse  

Next Sunday will be the first day of the Chinese New Year (or "Spring Festival"). Every family is having a hectic week getting the big day ready. Chinese New Year is the most important festival among Chinese people, while Christmas is the most important one in the Western world. Then how do Chinese people prepare for the Chinese New Year? 

Traditionally, Chinese families clean their houses thoroughly to prepare their houses for good luck. In Hong Kong, there is a Cantonese saying, "Wash away the dirt on the 28th of the 12th month."(年廿八,洗邋遢) Brooms, dustpans and mops are put away during Chinese New Year. In many Western countries, this practice of cleaning a house from top to bottom is called "spring cleaning", as it normally takes place in spring. 

To create a festive atmosphere, Chinese families decorate their houses with bright red paper cuttings. Red symbolizes good fortune and happiness. Couplets of auspicious phrases are also hung around the house to bring prosperity to the family. What couplets have you put up? 

Another important preparation is shopping for gifts and red envelopes. Your parents also need to get festival foods ready for the reunion dinner on the Chinese New Year's Eve, and the festive meals when friends and relatives visit you during Chinese New Year. What are your favourite foods, a New Year cake or a turnip cake? Children may prefer the traditional snacks in the Tray of Togetherness such as red melon seeds, candied melon and candied lotus seeds. 

H e r e, m a y I w i s h y o u a h a p p y a n d prosperous Year of the Snake! 

Glossary:
Turnip cake:蘿蔔糕
Tray of Togetherness:全盒
Red mekon seeds:
Candied melon:
Candied lotus seeds:

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