Year of the Dragon
In China, it is known as “Spring Festival,” the literal translation of the Chinese name 春節 (Pinyin: Chūn Jié), since the spring season in Chinese calendar starts with lichun, the first solar term in a Chinese calendar year. The festival begins on the first day of the first month (Chinese: 正月; pinyin: Zhēng Yuè) in the traditional Chinese calendar and ends with Lantern Festival which is on the 15th day.
In Malaysia, it is one of the important festivals and is known as Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year. On Chinese New Year’s Eve, is a day where young and old Chinese families gather for their annual reunion dinner, is known as Chú Xī (除夕) or “Eve of the Passing Year.” The venue will usually be in or near the home of the most senior member of the family. The New Year’s Eve dinner is very sumptuous and traditionally includes chicken and fish. Red packets or Angpow for the immediate family are sometimes distributed during the reunion dinner. These packets often contain money in certain numbers that reflect good luck and honorability.
People will pour out their money to buy presents, decoration, material, food, and clothing. It is also the tradition that every family thoroughly cleans the house to sweep away any ill-fortune in hopes to make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors will be decorated with red colour paper-cuts and couplets with popular themes of “good fortune” or “happiness”, “wealth”, and “longevity”.
In, Malaysia the streets are decorated with bright red lanterns, pink cherry blossoms, paper pineapples (hong = good luck) and oranges. The sound of the Chinese word for “red” ( 紅) is “hong” in Mandarin (Hakka: Fung; Cantonese: Hoong) which also means “prosperous.” Therefore, red is an auspicious colour and has an auspicious sound. We also get to see the acrobatic lion and dragon dances that is accompanied by firecrackers and drums.
Xin Nian Kuai Le !!