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The Chinese New Year is just within a couple of days (February 12). Though things will be different this year due to the global pandemic, there are still some traditions that you could do to celebrate the coming of the Year of the Metal Ox. 

Here’s our quick guide to some of those traditions: 

  1. Chinese New Year Decorations

Red has always been a symbol of luck for the Chinese. Usually, the streets of Chinatown will be filled with this auspicious color. From lanterns to paper cuttings, the whole street, and even the interiors home will be filled and decorated with red Chinese new year decorations. 

Since 2021 will be the year of the Ox, decorations related to ox will be commonly seen. Look out for red rat dolls for children and New Year paintings with an ox on.


Photo from Unsplash

 

  1. Firecrackers 

Traditionally, firecrackers were used to scare the evil spirits away in Chinese culture. Nowadays, however, lighting firecrackers and fireworks are a major custom to celebrate the coming of the New Year, and also a way to enhance the festive atmosphere. 

Unfortunately, fireworks and firecrackers are prohibited this year due to the pandemic in Manila. 


Photo from Unsplash

  1. Gifts and Red Envelopes 

Just like how other countries spend Christmas, Chinese New Year is usually the time where Chinese exchange gifts. One of the popular New Year gifts is the red envelope. It usually contains money in it and is usually given to children or retirees. It usually symbolizes good fortune. 


Photo from Unsplash

  1. Chinese New Year’s Eve Feast 

Chinese New Year’s Eve is a very important time for the Chinese. This is commonly spent with the family - no matter how big or small. Wherever they are in the world, people are expected to be home to celebrate the festivities with their families.

The Chinese New Year's Eve dinner is called 'reunion dinner', and is believed to be the most important meal of the year.


Photo from iStock

  1. Chinese Dragon Dance

Often done during the Chinese New Year, the Chinese dragon dance is believed to bring good luck to people. It is believed that the longer the dragon is in the dance, the more luck it will bring to the community. 


Photo from iStock

Here are a couple of things one can do to bring in the luck: 

  • Wear something red. 

  • Give money/gifts in lucky numbers placed in lucky red packaging or envelope with a lucky greeting. 

  • Eating lucky food like carp or catfish on New Year's Eve

  • Light up as many fireworks and fireworks to scare the evil spirits away and to bring in the good year. 

 

Some of these traditions may not be allowed right now for health and safety reasons. Nevertheless, we can always find a run around on them. Things like decorating your place in red, wearing red clothing, and spending time with your family - even virtually -  during the eve of the festivities are some of the things you can do to celebrate this coming Lunar New Year. 

That being said, we hope this quick guide will help you plan your Chinese New Year celebrations. We also hope for a better and more prosperous year for you and your family. Gong Hei Fat Choy from us!

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