Sample Chinese New Year Traditions Worksheet
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Chinese New Year Traditions
1 The Chinese New Year is the most important holiday for Chinese people. Like Thanksgiving celebrated in the United States, the Chinese New Year is a time for family gathering. Regardless how far away they live from their parents, Chinese people will do their best to go back home and have a big feast with their families on the eve of the Chinese New Year. For the next fifteen days, Chinese people are very careful not to do anything disrespectful to their ancestors and mythical gods. By behaving properly, Chinese people believe that their ancestors and mythical gods will grant them fortune and good luck in the coming year.
2 So, what are the appropriate codes of conduct? Well, here is a checklist of DOs and DON'Ts during the Chinese New Year:
- Do wear red clothes. Red symbolizes fortune and luck.
- Do set aside grudges against enemies and call off unpaid debt. Let bygones be bygones - if personal differences or financial obligations cannot be settled before the Chinese New Year, they shall be forgotten.
- Do clean your house thoroughly before the Chinese New Year, so misfortune will be cleaned away to make room for good fortune.
- Do have a dish of a whole fish for the feast on the Chinese New Year's eve. Make sure that you leave some to be devoured on the following day. As "fish" and "extra" have the same pronunciation in Chinese, having a fish left over from a previous year corresponds to a popular Chinese proverb meaning "having extra every year."
- Do give red envelopes (stuffed with money) to your parents, your children, or the children of your friends and relatives. You will only need to do so if you are married. When giving out red envelopes, you are wishing that the recipient would not grow old.
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