New Year Traditions Around the World – China

The Chinese New Year, Chūn Jié, is the most important holiday in China. This celebration is centered on families traveling home to spend time together. New Year festivities in China take place over a period of several weeks – the celebration begins with a dragon dance and ends with the lantern festival parade.

Dragon Dance

Lantern Festival

Chinese Lanterns

Other customs that go along with the Chinese New Year include lighting fireworks to scare away evil spirits and giving gifts in red envelopes for good luck.

For thousands of years in China, the sound of a gong is used in religious ceremonies, state processions, marriages and festivals. You can view a gong up close as part of the Chinese New Year display during the Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World exhibition here at Meijer Gardens. Also on display is a cut-paper design of a Chinese zodiac calendar based on the lunar calendar. An animal is assigned to each year according to a 12-year cycle, 2015 is the year of the sheep.

Year of the Sheep

What are some of the New Year traditions in your family? Leave them below in the comments or post them on our Facebook page here.

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