China and East Asian countries are preparing for celebrating the New Year. The Spring Festival (Chun Jie) has been considered the most important and longest of all the other holidays since ancient times. It does not have one fixed date and is calculated according to the lunar calendar. Therefore, the Year of the Metal Ox in China will come on February 12.
In the old days, festivities lasted a whole month, but in the modern history, the Chinese have shortened the holidays to 15 days. The grandiose red light festival becomes the final event of all New Year’s celebrations. Traditionally, preparation for the holiday begins with cleaning the house, since the Chinese believe that by getting rid of old trash, they make room for a new life.
Trays with oranges and tangerines occupy the place of a decorated Christmas tree, and the predominant red color in the decoration of the home is intended to keep misfortune and evil spirits away from the house. The Chinese also believe that red brings good luck for the whole year to come. And the fact that this color irritates the bull is regarded as a myth, because according to scientific research, bulls do not distinguish colors at all.
Residents of Turkmenistan are very interested in Chinese culture and traditions, and many our students dream of visiting the Celestial Empire and are learning Chinese. Representatives of the Chinese diplomatic mission in Turkmenistan spoke about some of the features of celebrating the Chinese New Year in an interview with ORIENT.
– The Spring Festival, like Christmas for Christians, is the most important holiday for the Chinese. We have a tradition of celebrating the New Year in the family circle, gathering at a large table. Even when we are far from our home, we try to follow this tradition. A festive dinner unites the family, and fish dishes are considered the main treat for us. We believe that fish brings wealth to your home. It is imperative that you do not finish your dinner a little and leave the food on your plate so that the year is abundant.
The word “fish” in Chinese is consonant with the word “plenty”, so it is considered a symbol of material well-being. At the festive table, the head and tail of the fish are not eaten until the New Year comes. It is considered a lucky sign if these two opposite parts of the fish point at guests sitting opposite each other. By tradition, they must drink together and make a wish.
As the ORIENT’s partner China Daily newspaper informs, the Chinese Consulate General in New York has announced a series of events to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Since the end of January, the consular mission has begun sending out personal protective kits to those representatives of the Chinese diaspora in the United States, including students, who are wishing to take part in the traditional Spring Festival.
On the occasion of the Chinese New Year, the Empire State Building, the flight control tower of the John F. Kennedy International Airport, the Goethals Bridge and the Bayonne Bridge, which connects Staten Island to the rest of New York, will shine with red lights.
For February 12, virtual concerts and shows with the participation of symphony orchestras, an association of students and scholars from universities in China and the United States, as well as online sporting events with basketball teams, are scheduled. The Chinese people hope that the coming year of the Metal Ox will bring with it five earthly blessings – peace, happiness, harmony, prosperity and friendship.