Today is New Year’s Eve by the Chinese calendar! It’s such a fun time of year to be in China (although rather noisy) and it’s strange not to be there – a reminder that I really have started a new season of my life. This is actually the first time in ten years that I am outside China for Chinese new year! I have had more Chinese food this week than normal – dinner with friends from college on Sunday night and dinner last night with my parents, both times at a great Chinese restaurant not far from college. Both times we had some jiao zi (dumplings); they are traditionally eaten on new year’s eve, so that was a little pre-new-year treat for me.
I’ve written about Chinese new year and its various traditions many times, about different aspects of the holiday. Many of my Chinese new year posts were written in 2014; I think I looked at the holiday a little differently knowing it could well be my last. I’ve been re-reading my previous new year writings, fondly remembering some of the best bits of life in China.
Below is a list of posts describing different aspects of Chinese new year – traditions, decorations, and particular festival days from the first two weeks of the new year. There are, of course, many photos and descriptions of fireworks, and I’ve also included a popular post about the traditional calendar which governs the timing of Chinese festivals.
On the 15th day of Chunjie, my Beijing gave to me…
Chinese new year isn’t just one day – there are two full weeks of celebrations. This is an introduction to the many customs of Chinese new year. Superstitions, decorations, fireworks, food, and many other traditions.
Red and White – decorations and snow during Spring Festival
Decorations are a big part of Chinese new year festivities! This post includes photos of different decorations as well as translations of several 对联 – poetic couplets placed around doorways to wish blessings on the house.
Happy birthday, everyone – especially horses!
A little about ren ri, or “everyman’s birthday,” when we all get a year older. Also, a celebration of the Year of the Wood Horse – a special year for my parents, as they completed a full turn of the Chinese zodiac.
The last day of the two weeks of Chinese new year festivities. In my opinion tang yuan – sweet, sesame dumplings – are the best part of lantern festival.
Some thoughts on the changing dynamics of fireworks in Beijing during my 10 years here. So much of Chinese new year is about the fireworks, and there are lots of stories. Like the ban in 1993, the insane chaos after it was lifted in 2006, changes after the huge fireworks-lit blaze of 2009 – and what it’s like now.
Oh, Chinese new year
Here I relate some of the sights and sounds of Chinese new year – the atmosphere that really makes this time of year what it is.
The Yin and Yang of the Chinese calendar
While this is about the lunisolar calendar, rather than Chinese new year specifically, it also talks about the Chinese zodiac.