除夕：New Year's Eve 或 Old Year's Day
The Spring Festival is the New Year in china, just as Christmas in Britain. Chinese people attach much important to the Spring Festival, which is Chinese traditional festival. And the New Year’s Eve is the most important day in the Spring Festival. So they have many celebrations and customs in that day.
Chinese has strong attachment to their family, and Chinese family is usually a big family. In the past, they always dwell on together. In a family, there are grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles and many children. They all live in a big courtyard. Father, Mother and a few children are composed a minor family. Every brother of father makes his own minor family. And with grandparents, they form a big family. Each minor family possesses a minor room in a courtyard, which grandparents live in the major room. Because old person has the superior position in a family, and Chinese respect the old as a long-standing tradition. In the modern time, not every family member lives in a courtyard but live separately. However, they still maintain close link with each other. They often have get-togethers in holidays especially in festivals.
In New Year’s Eve, the most important festival, Chinese family often get together to spend the whole night. They often have the New Year’s dinner together, and celebrate the New Year in their own way.
The New Year’s dinner is very tasteful and delicious, for it not only a dinner but also a family meeting. Each family member sits around the table and talks while eating. It stands for the harmony and unity of a family. Since the dinner is very important, it takes too much time and effort to prepare it. As we all known, Chinese food is the most delicious food in the world. Perhaps because Chinese people are very particular about eating. For New Y ear’s dinner, the food is extremely exquisite and traditional. First, Jiaozi is necessary. Jiaozi, also called dumpling, is well-known as traditional Chinese food all over the world. In New Year’s Eve, we often make dumplings of meat and vegetable, and we also make special dumplings. For example, we make a few dumplings with a coin in them. No matter who eat these special dumplings, it foresees he will have luck of wealth the next year. Some special dumplings with shelled peanut in them mean longevity. Some with sugar in them mean a sweet life. Besides these wonderful Jiaozi, there are various cuisines. Usually, there should be a fish in the table, which means the family has enough to spare every year.
After enjoying the New Year’s dinner, the family seat in the sofa and watch the television. There is a culture New Year’s dinner waiting for them, which is the Spring Festival Evening Party. Since the Spring Festival Evening Party began to hold in 1982, every family consider watching it as a tradition. The party that is held by CCTV starts at 8:00 and lasts four and a half hours. It gathers almost all the Chinese stars in mainland and overseas. And its style of programs contains songs and dances, comic dialogues and sketches. CCTV invests big for this party every year, and they want to make the party be the best party on TV. Though the quality of the party decreased these days, it is still a better party than any other party held by other television stations. Yet Chinese still consider it as a culture dinner in New Year’s Eve.
Since New Year’s Eve comes, the sound of firecrackers will not disappear. Playing firecrackers is the necessary custom in New Year’s Eve. There is a legend about firecrackers. Long long ago, a monster called Nian (means year) haunted around a peaceful village. He attacked the people and livestock in the village. The villagers had no idea to deal with the monster. They became very fearful and lived in danger. Until one day, a clever man invented an arm called firecracker. On one New Year’s Eve, he used firecrackers to defeat the Nian monster. In order to commemorate the man and his glory deeds, we play firecrackers and eat Nian cake every New Year’s eve. Nian cake, also called New Year cake, stands for Nian monster. Eating New Year’s cake means “we will live a better and better life yearly”. Though it is fun of playing firecrackers, we cannot play firecrackers without control in that playing firecrackers causes environmental pollution and safe problems.
At 12:00 of the night, the sound of New Year’s tolling bell rings. That’s the exciting moment. Every person waits for this time. When the bell rings, many firecrackers sound at the same time. Under this hot phenomenon, you will feel jubilant and happy. Every body celebrates this Chinese New Year joyfully. At the moment, we make and eat Jiaozi again. I don’t know why, it is just a custom. Today it develops another custom: people always pay a New Year call at this moment. Not by a visit but by a phone or mobile phone, we call our relatives and friends to say Happy New Year, or sent our wishes by short message. We attach important to our relatives and friends, however, we don’t forget our ancestors. On New Year’s Eve, we often offer sacrifices to ancestors and close relatives. We put food and wine before the picture of ancestors and burn joss papers for our close relatives. It expresses our respect and love to them.
We stay up all the night on New Year’s Eve sometimes. That’s a custom also. But the children are drove to sleep because they want to gain new year money gift to children. The new year money should be given to children on New Year’s Eve and press under the children’s pillow for a whole night.