Los 40 USA
NewslettersSign in to commentAPP
spainSPAINchileCHILEcolombiaCOLOMBIAusaUSAmexicoMEXICOlatin usaLATIN USAamericaAMERICA

CELEBRATIONS

How is Chinese New Year celebrated? Food, gifts and celebrations for the year of the Dragon

The Lunar New Year is an important celebration among East Asians. The festivities include spending time with family, parades, and lots and lots of food.

Update:
The Lunar New Year is an important celebration among East Asians. The festivities include spending time with family, parades, and lots and lots of food.
MAXIM SHEMETOVREUTERS

It’s the Lunar New Year weekend, and there will be numerous celebrations throughout the world. This year, Feb. 10 ushers in the year of the wood dragon.

Also known as Chinese New Year or the Spring Festival, the occasion is celebrated with a variety of customs, traditions, and festivities that vary across different regions and cultures.

READ ALSO: The biggest Chinese New Year festivals in the US

How is Chinese New Year celebrated? Food, gifts and celebrations for the year of the Dragon

Despite some cultural variations, there are several common practices and elements that are commonly observed during these New Year celebrations. Here are some ways Lunar New Year is traditionally celebrated.

Family get-togethers

The Lunar New Year is a time for families to come together for reunion dinners and gatherings. It is the most important holiday in Chinese culture, and families often travel long distances to dine and be together during this occasion.

New Year’s Eve dinner

On the eve of Chinese New Year, families gather for an elaborate dinner known as “Nian Ye Fan.” The meal usually features traditional dishes with symbolic meanings, such as fish for prosperity, dumplings for wealth, and noodles for long life.

Lion and dragon dances

Lion and dragon dances are performed during Lunar New Year celebrations to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck and prosperity for the coming year. Performers dress in elaborate lion or dragon costumes and dance to the beat of drums and cymbals, accompanied by firecrackers and loud music. Since 2024 welcomes the year of the dragon, expect even more of these majestic creatures in parades.

READ ALSO: Enter the Year of the Dragon

Fireworks and firecrackers

Fireworks and firecrackers are an integral part of Spring Festival celebrations. They are believed to scare away evil spirits and ensure a prosperous start to the new year. Fireworks displays are often seen and heard throughout Chinese communities during the holiday.

Red envelopes

Red envelopes, or “hongbao,” filled with money are given as gifts during Chinese New Year. They symbolize good luck, prosperity, and blessings for the receiver. These envelopes are usually given to children, unmarried relatives, and employees by elders and married couples.

READ ALSO: The meaning of Lunar New Year

During Lunar New Year, people visit relatives and friends to exchange greetings and well-wishes for the new year. It is customary to bring gifts, such as fruit, sweets, or traditional snacks, when visiting others’ homes.

Temple visits and prayers

Many people visit temples and make offerings to pray for blessings and good fortune in the new year. Temples are often crowded with worshippers seeking guidance and blessings from the gods and their ancestors.