2020 Chinese New Year Eve, January 24, 2020

Chinese New Year Eve - 2020 Year of the Rat

2020 is the Chinese White Metal Rat year. The Chinese New Year is on January 25, 2020. The Chinese New Year Eve is on January 24, 2020. The Chinese New Year Day is the first day of the first lunar month. Chinese New Year Eve is the last lunar day of the 12th Chinese lunar month. The 12th Chinese lunar month of 2019 has 30 days long. Therefore, the Chinese New Year eve of 2020 is on the 30th lunar day.

Chinese New Year Eve is the night of the Chinese family reunion. Chinese housewives need to prepare for the New Year Eve dinner and 15-day Chinese New Year festivals for weeks. They need to clean the entire house, put a new interior and exterior decoration, prepare new clothes and gifts for all family members, and food for many events. You can imagine that the Chinese New Year festival combines Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year together.

Chinese New Year Eve - Animal Monster Nian

In Chinese, Chinese New Year Eve is called Chu-Xi or Guo-Nian . Guo means passing. Nian means year. Therefore, Guo-Nian means passing the year.

However, the original meaning of Nian is related to an animal in a legendary story. Nobody knows when that legendary story began. They said Nian was a ferocious and carnivorous beast. Nian couldn't find the food in the cold wintertime. It must go down from the mountain to find the livestock to eat. Later, It became a man-eater. People must stay inside the house during the winter nights. Later, people found Nian was afraid of red, fire and noisy sound. So they decorated red-color on the wall of the houses, made a campfire in the front of the door and made make noisy sounds to scare Nian away.

People survived, celebrated and said congratulation to each other on the next day. People felt like a restarting point after passing the disaster. Then, they called Guo-Nian (passing Nian) the day before the new starting day.

Chinese New Year Eve - Busy before Dinner

Many events related to the Chinese New Year are in the last lunar month. Chinese need almost a month to prepare 15-day Chinese New Year festival. House cleaning should be ready on or before the day Chinese New Year eve. But the Chinese families are still very busy on this day to prepare the reunion dinner on Chinese New Year Eve.

For religious and cultural reasons, many Chinese families need to say good-bye to the current year by telling the gods and ancestors at the family Buddhist altar in the afternoon. Chinese prepare Nian-Gao (sweet rice cake), Fa-Gao (steamed rice cake), animal sacrifices, fruit, drink, candy with big red candles for the ritual.

After saying goodbye to gods and ancestors, women begin to prepare the reunion dinner. The main dish sitting in the center of the table is Hot-Pot. The traditional Hot-Pot is a big metal (alumni) bowel and has a hollow tube in the center. Chinese put rhe hot bone soup in the bowel and cook different kinds of sliced meat, seafood, vegetable, meatballs and seafood balls during the dinner. They put hot-rock or hot-coal inside the hollow tube to keep food warm. So they can eat the reunion dinner each for hours.

Chinese New Year's day usually is close to spring, but it's very often that the weather is still cold. In ancient China, in order to eat the warm food, the Chinese had to sit around the cooking stove for New Year Eve dinner. That's why this dinner is also called Wei-Lu , which means "surrounding the stove".

Chinese New Year Eve - Reunion Dinner

There are many dishes on the dinner table. Every dish has an auspicious meaning behind it. It's connected to longevity, reunion, perfection, good luck, health, diligence, satisfaction or promotion based on the homophone of the dish's name. Family members are supposed to have some from every dish. So they can eat and chat for a longer time and share love and care during this time. However, the Chinese don't touch fish on the table. This is because the homophone of fish is the remainder, which means they have a surplus or extra saving at the end of the year. On the other hand, they need leftovers for Chinese New Year - nobody cooks at home.

After dinner, that's an exciting time for the children. They are waiting for New Year's Hong Bao , which is a Red Envelope containing the brand-new money. Adults or parents will hand out the Red Envelopes to children, unmarried immediate family, and their parents before going to the bed. Children will put all Red Envelopes under the pillow when sleeping. They said children can sleep well without a bad dream and become richer next year. The family expense increases sharply during Chinese New Year period. Usually, the Chinese receive a year-end bonus about one or two-month salary pay. (The lucky one can even have one year salary) from the company before the Chinese New Year holiday. Therefore most families can afford better food, clothing, and decoration for Chinese New Year. Banks will prepare many brand new bills for people to exchange. That's why all the lucky money in the Red Envelope is brand-new.

The last event is the vigil to wait for the new year coming. One main reason is this can extend parents' lifespan. How can the Chinese keep them awake? It's simple. They watch TV shows for Chinese New Year special. The other way is gambling - playing Mah-Jong. Some people will gather outside the temple after reunion dinner, everyone wants to be the first person of the year to be blessed by God. There is the first incense stick race at many temples every year. One the first second of Rat hour, 11 P.M., as soon as the temple's main gate is opened, people will dash into the temple to insert the incense stick into the incense container. The winner will win a big Red-Envelope from the temple. But the most important thing is the winner will be very lucky in the coming year.

Young people like to go outside for the vigil of the year. Before midnight, they gather with friends or relatives around the park, riverside or tall buildings to wait for the Chinese New Year fireworks.

Chinese New Year Related Articles

Chinese Zodiac Related Articles

Recommended Articles