The year of dragon is here and so is the time for celebrations. The first day of the new moon of the New Year signals for celebrations and they continue till 15th of the month when the moon is full. The New Year is biggest of all the events in Chinese calendar and it is called as ‘Lantern Festival.’
This New Year is the Year of Dragon, the fifth zodiac sign of the Chinese calendar. Dragon is associated with power, dominance and determination. It is thought to bring good luck and new opportunities. Hence, it affects positively all other zodiac signs of the Chinese calendar.
Each of the fifteen days of the New Year is celebrated according to different traditions and myths or beliefs associated with them. A brief overview:
First Day: It is for welcoming of gods of the heaven and the earth. People abstain from eating meat on this day as it is believed that this would make their lives longer. On this day, people visit the most eldest ones in their families and greet them with clear and open heart.
Second Day: It is God of Wealth’s Birthday. On this day, beggars would move around in streets and from home to home saying: “Cai Shen Dao,” which means, “The God of Wealth has come.” People give them money in return. A lot of people also believe that it is the birthday of all dogs, so they treat them graciously.
Third Day: This day is called as ‘chì kǒu,’ which means ‘red mouth.’ It is believed that this day isn’t good for socializing, so people prefer to stay at home.
Fourth Day: Some of the communities celebrate the Chinese New Year for three to four days only. These people arrange a ‘spring dinner’ on the fourth day to end the celebrations.
Fifth Day: On this day, people eat simple Chinese food or dumplings to mourn on Po Wu.
Sixth Day: People visit their family and friends and pray to god for health and good fortune.
Seventh day: On the seventh day, everyone grows one year older. The Chinese Buddhists avoid eating meat on this day as well, as it is the birthday of Sakra, the lord of devas in Buddhist.
Eighth Day: It is a day for family dinner to celebrate the eve of birth of Jade Emperor.
Ninth Day: On this day, Chinese offer prayer to the Jade Emperor and celebrate the birthday.
Tenth Day: The whole day people party to celebrate for the Jade Emperor.
Eleventh Day: The Chinese people invite their family and friends on dinner.
Twelfth Day: The dinners with friends and family continue.
Thirteenth Day: On this day, the Chinese people only eat vegetables to relax their body after having heavy food over the last few days. People pray to ‘General Guan Yu,’ known as the Chinese God of War.
Fourteenth Day: The day is spent in preparing for the celebrations of the Lantern Festival.
Fifteenth Day: This day is known as the Lantern festival (the Yuan Xiao Festival). Lanterns are lit outside houses and scrumptious food like rice dumplings is eaten.