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Dumplings are traditionally eaten during the festivities.These little round rice flour balls are often filled with vegetables.And the number eight is considered an especially lucky or auspicious number.
Many people dress mainly in red coloured clothing for the festivities.
Often people also buy new clothes to show that a fresh beginning is celebrated with the new year.
The 12 Chinese zodiac animals are: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. They always come in the same order, so 2018 was the year of the dog, 2019 is the year of the pig and 2020 will be the year of the rat. (We share the answer at the bottom of the page under 'Resources') People wish each other good luck, happiness and wealth for the new year.
The words used most in good wishes are: happiness, wealth, prosperity, prosperous, auspicious'Gong Xi Fa Cai' means 'Have a prosperous new year' (pronounce it as: Gong Hee Faat Choy).
It ends typically with lantern festivals on the 15th day of the first calendar month.
See below an image from the Pingxi Sky Festival which is celebrated in Taiwan every year to end the new year's festivities.A popular food are long noodles that symbolise good fortune as well as a long life. The dish is a symbol for wealth and longevity, this fish salad is usually served in a huge dish in the middle of a table, where family members and friends toss the noodles in the big bowl together and then eat.Dragon dances and lion dance festivals will usher in the new year in many cities.Some families may even invite a dance troupe into their homes as well.Firecrackers are lit as these shall bring good luck and fortune.And make sure your plate is never empty, as this would be seen as your luck has run out.Food is often prepared up to a week before, so one must not use a knife or fire for cooking on New Years day, as cutting with a knife for many would symbolise ill luck.The calendar was started on astronomical observations of the moon's phases.Each year a Chinese zodiac animal is the symbol for the year.Married family members hand red envelopes (called in Mandarin) with money to others to show their goodwill and give blessings for the new year to the other family members. Always make sure to give an even number of gifts or in the amount of money.So always at least two mandarins, two packets or two coins.