Chinese New Year

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Thean Hou Temple, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Chinese New Year or known as Lunar New Year is the celebration of the new year in Chinese lunar calendar. In mainland China, they called it as Spring Festival. It is also known as seollal (Korea), Tết Nguyên Đán (Vietnam) and Losar (Tibet). Usually the celebration lasts about 15 days. The popular myth of Chinese New Year is regarding the Nien monster which will try to kill and destroy villages. So they chased the monster away by burning up fire crackers and putting up red papers. Hence, it had become the tradition for red as symbolic color of Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year is seen as a chance for a fresh start. Debts are settled, and old grievances are forgiven. Houses are cleaned of clutter and decorated with symbolic flowers. Plants get pruned, and drawers are cleared out.  All preparations are meant to set the stage for attracting as much luck and good fortune as possible in the upcoming year. Whatever happens on the first day of the new year is thought to set the pace for the rest of the year. We are forbidden of killing animals, cursing, cleaning the houses and wearing dark outfits as no one wants to unknowingly remove incoming good luck! The younger person will receive red packets from the married adults.

The gift exchange that is still practice will include mandarin oranges as it symbolizes gold because it pronounced as ‘kam’ in Cantonese. Nowadays, gift exchange is more convenient as ready pack goods and hampers are all available at the store. However, gifts such as clock, handkerchief, pear, scissors, knife, shoes, sandals, green hats and items associated to funeral are forbidden as it will bring bad luck to the gift receiver.

LG would like to wish our lakornians for a bountiful Chinese New Year and hope that there are more great lakorns to watch together for this year. Do share with us anything about this big day through in the comment section.

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Janet Lim
Janet Lim
7 months ago

Thanks for the article, certain taboos during the new year have been drilled into our minds from a young age.

Here’s wishing all Admins & lakornians a very happy year of the rat. I’m wondering if there are any chinese admins at LG. 😍