Chinese New Year Day
The most famous celebrated holiday for Chinese people is the Chinese New Year. This holiday is of great significance and is celebrated by people of Chinese descent throughout the world. Like most other Chinese holidays, the date for celebration is determined according to the lunar calendar. It begins on the day of the new moon of the New Year and ends on the full moon, which is fifteen days after. Thus, this holiday is now also known as the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival.
Preparations for the Spring Festival include thorough cleaning of the house, writing Spring Festival couplets, creating paper-cuts as window decorations, and, of course, making New Year cakes. Family members gather together for this celebration. This is highlighted with a ceremony to give honor and thanks to Heaven and Earth, the gods of the household and family ancestors. Sacrifices are also made to the ancestors to pay respect. Family members and friends visit each other; this is a practice known as “bainian.” This custom of paying visits to kinsmen helps people reconnect with one and other, especially if they had been too busy during the year for social gatherings. Married couples and elders will also give children money in the form of “red envelopes” as blessings.
The night prior to the first day of the New Year is spent as a reunion dinner, which family members, whether they are far or near, unite. Plenty dishes will be served and can vary, but cannot be complete without serving fish. There’s a saying in Chinese that goes “may there be surpluses every year”, which sounds similar to “may there be fishes every year.” Every aspect of the Spring Festival is created with a theme wishing for luck, prosperity, and happiness.
No matter how far away a person of Chinese descent is from home, the Spring Festival always invites a warm feeling to one’s heart. The recurring theme of the customs and traditions for this festival is concentrated on the togetherness of a family and the promising happy future of a new beginning in the upcoming year. For this reason, this is the most popular holiday for all Chinese.
In the new year there is now a regular on the popular modern society do traditionally red packets are also handed out to younger generation by their parents, grand parents, relatives, and even close neighbors and friends during Imlek. Nowadays giving red packets as a bonus at the year-end by employers becomes popular and Imlek parcel is also a tradition of giving to business associates or relatives.
Giving Imlek parcel to employees prior to the New Year is also a good idea. This can be either a gift or a bonus. If it is as a gift, the money should be just right for a gift. If as a bonus, you may enclose a check in the parcel gift and hand it out in an office.