Chinese New Year: Year of the Snake

chinese new year flowers 1-resized-600Gavin Mak, Account Executive for MRI Software’s Singapore office, shares some insights into the Chinese New Year holiday traditions:

The Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival (春節), is the most important holiday in China. Spring Festival is a celebration of the New Year in the lunar calendar, which normally happens in January or February. Each year in the lunar calendar is marked by the characteristics of one of 12 Chinese zodiacal animals: the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. After the 12th animal, it is switched in order and the sequence is repeated again every 12 years. This year, 2013, is the year of the Snake.

Before the first day of the New Year, everyone tidies their house. Once the house is clean, we use red colored decorations, such as Fai-chun and China Ties, and flowers to celebrate the holiday. These decorations symbolize a good start of the year, and good luck in the future. During the New Year holiday, households visit each other and give their best blessing.

chinese new year flowers 2-resized-600There are a lot of customs in China, most of which vary quite differently among provinces in the way they celebrate. However, in general families celebrate by gathering on the lunar New Year eve to have a dinner, or a lunch/ dinner on the first or second day of the lunar New Year. The choice and number of the dishes also varies a lot, but there’s always a tendency to have a good and big meal as a way to celebrate the New Year to come.

One of the very signature celebrations you might be aware of is the celebration with firecrackers. In Chinese New Year, we light the noisy red firecracker to symbolize getting rid of the old things and preparing for the new ones to come. It’s something many of us love to play with when we are a child.

From the MRI Software family here in Hong Kong, we would like to wish all of you to have a prosperous year of the Snake!

Gong Xi Fa Cai恭喜发财!

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