Traditionally, the holiday, known as Spring Festival, encompassing the Chinese New Year, lasts for 15 days.
The date of the New Year itself changes each year as it is calculated according to the lunar calendar, rather than the Gregorian calendar, now adopted worldwide.
During the 15 days of celebration, families are required to spend time together; you can only go out after the 5th day and most shops will be closed for the duration of the celebrations. This means that families will stock up on food, clothes and all essentials from a month before the Festival is due to begin. (Rather like we do here when we hear a rumour that a snowflake has been spotted!)
Passing down the family name is one of the most important parts of the Chinese culture. So, when children vacate the cities where they work, to return to the countryside, where the family home has been for generations, they can, if they feel it’s necessary, hire a boy or girlfriend to take home to meet the parents, so that they think they are doing their duty!
We will finish this post, with a list of things that are most definitely ‘frowned upon’, during the Festival:
Having a hair cut : using anything sharp (scissors, knives, swords etc) : arguing or swearing : breaking anything
I don’t know about you, but after 5 days with my family, unable to go out, I think I’d be tempted to do most things on this list!