Monday, January 16, 2012

Mandarin Mondays: Spring Festival (春节)

Spring Festival (Chūn jié, 春节), known as Chinese New Year in the West, does not officially begin until the evening of January 21st, but the preparations are already gearing up. All of the stores have special gifts on display. People are buying special food and gifts to take back on their journey to their hometowns. Everyone is cleaning their houses top to bottom to rid them of bad luck and decorating them with lots of red decorations to bring in good luck, and most women have new hairdos to start out the new year on the right foot.

And perhaps the part of the celebration that Spring Festival is most famous for, the fireworks (yān huā, 烟花) have already begun. People have already begun setting off firecrackers (fàng biān pào, 放鞭炮) and lighting off fireworks (fàng yān huā, 放烟花) throughout the day and into the night. It is a little noisy now, but I'm guessing next week will be really noisy. This will be our first Spring Festival in China, and I think it will be an interesting experience to see all of the celebrations that go along with their biggest holiday. I'll be writing more about the festival over the next few weeks.

Happy New Year! (xīnnián kuàilè!, 新年快乐!)

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