firecrackers exploding

How Do Chinese People Celebrate their New Year?

In our most recent article, we talked about little known facts you can use when you play jackpot casino games and all of our hundreds of other games here at Jackpot Capital online casino during the New Year’s holiday.  We mentioned the Chinese New Year only very briefly for two reasons.  First, the Chinese New Year begins in January and runs for about two weeks.  Secondly, we felt that the Chinese New Year deserved an entire article all to itself!

So, here it is!

The Spring Festival

In our previous article, we mentioned the Sephardic Jewish custom of beginning the holiday feast with blessings that are often plays on words to signify the hoped-for good times ahead.  The Chinese do something similar.  They call the New Year celebration, the Spring Festival.  It is decidedly not yet spring in the northern parts of China but the people are already beginning to anticipate the thaw, replanting, and the good crop they hope to have in the coming year.

Gamers can do something similar!  We can all look to the New Year as a time of renewing our commitments to making online gaming a fun and entertaining pastime!  Jackpot Capital casino tries to be the place that we hope everyone comes to for the fun of gaming.  We even offer unlimited free play so that you can play without making any wager at all, however small!

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Another Lunar Calendar

The Chinese calendar is lunar.  This means that there is no fixed date for the Chinese New Year in our Gregorian solar calendar.  There is, of course, a fixed date for it in the Chinese calendar!  It falls on the first day of the first month in the Chinese calendar and the festival runs for 15 days, until the perfect full moon appears.

The Chinese People Pray on the New Year

As an Eastern culture, we in the west might find the Chinese way of prayer a bit strange.  The Chinese have always prayed to their gods for good health and a good crop and they also pray to their individual ancestors who occupy god-like reverential positions in each family’s pantheon of gods.

Firecrackers by the Millions

Setting off firecrackers is by now a major part of the Chinese New Year celebration. On the first day of the festival, more fireworks are set off than in any other country at any time of the year.  Keep in mind that there are over one billion people in China.  That is one thousand million!  So, the number of fireworks set off as the festival begins easily runs into the many millions!

The tradition of setting off fireworks to bring in the New Year goes back many hundreds of years.  The people used to hide in their homes as the monster Nian came every year at the New Year.  One year, a brave young boy scared off the monster by setting off fireworks.  And so a tradition was quickly born!

Tradition, Fireworks, Safety, and the Ecology

In the latter decades of the 20th century, many Chinese cities sought to ban altogether to severely restrict fireworks.  The reasons given were safety and air pollution.  However, in most cities and country hamlets, these restrictions were simply ignored!  Such is the power of tradition!

The capital city of Beijing repealed its law banning fireworks because the people simply ignored it and it was too difficult to enforce.

Chinese Family Celebrations and Travel

Just as in the United States the busiest travel day is the day before Thanksgiving as people travel to be with family for the holiday, a similar cultural feature exists in China.  Most parents in China still live in the traditional small towns and most young adults live in the cities.  The massive travel of people to be with their families for the festival is actually called the Spring Migration!

A migration is normally associated with massive flocks of birds that migrate north in the spring and south in the fall.  So, you can imagine just how many people travel in the few days before the festival begins to be with their families!

New Year’s Superstitions

Apparently, the Chinese are a very superstitious people!  They don’t allow even minor cleaning such as sweeping the floor for at least five days at the start of the festival.  This custom is designed to prevent someone from “sweeping away” the good luck that was brought to the family by the firecrackers, prayers, and general levity.

Some Chinese families extend this custom to include throwing out the garbage for at least five days!

The day or two before the festival, in contrast, is a day of frantic house cleaning.  People take out any residual bad luck and make room for the good luck to come!

Lucky Money

In many cultures, kids receive money as a holiday gift.   For example, Jewish people give “Hanukah money” to little kids.  In most families, the Hanukah money is now given as chocolate coins!

In Islamic tradition, a man gives his sisters, mothers, grandmothers, and aunts a gift on the first day of the two main holidays in the Moslem year.  This gift is usually a substantial sum of money.

The Chinese still give kids real money and they are careful to put the money in a red envelope!  Red is the traditional festival color to the extent that everything that is decorated is decorated in red!

Lucky Food

Dumplings are still the most traditional Chinese food for the festival but most people eat them only once or twice as they do tend to sit heavily in one’s stomach!  Chinese people are much more likely to indulge in holiday sweets and desserts.

The Chinese like to eat sweet foods that sound like words that mean good luck, wealth, and so on.  Since the Chinese are somewhat superstitious and since the festival runs for two weeks, we might imagine that most people would be ready to give up desserts for a while after the festival ends!

Chinese Animals

Every year is called after the Chinese zodiac animal of that year.  2020 is the year of the rat.  In ancient Chinese superstitions, small children could be taken by a demon and therefore the animal of the year in which you were born is considered the most unlucky and the year itself that repeats every twelve years is considered very unlucky.

Be careful when your birth year’s animal comes around!

A Great Holiday with a Long Tradition

There is an interesting contrast between the Chinese New Year celebration and Jackpot Capital casino!  The Chinese have traditions that go back thousands of years!  Jackpot Capital has traditions that go back about twenty years! 

The Chinese have developed many customs over the years to celebrate their New Year.  At Jackpot Capital, we are trying to establish customs too!  We bring out a new game every month!  We run many great promotions as well!  But, truth be told, the Chinese are masters of the celebratory sciences and we can learn a lot from them!

Happy Chinese New Year to one and all!

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