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春节: (4)节庆活动

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A series of colorful celebration activities begin on the first day of the first lunar month.

After the Spring Festival, all kinds of entertainment programs used to be given in the rural area in China. Just like the flower exhibition in Beijing now, the entertainment programs includes walk on stilts, take a boat on ground and operas.

No matter in the city or in the countryside, all the people will do one thing that is to extend Spring Festival greetings. This activity begins at first between family members.

Normally we will extend our Spring Festival greetings to our elders, such as my parents, uncles and aunts.

Relatives will drop each other a visit during the Spring Festival to give their best wishes.

To drop a Spring Festival visit is to give your new year greetings when you are out. Have a luck talk. Happy new year! May you come into a good fortune! A luck talk can bring luck to people in the new year.

The 30th lesson, in China Panorama, Basic Level

Yang Li:Xue Qin, happy new year!

Fang Xueqin: Happy new year!

Tian, Zhao: May you come into a good fortune!

Fang Xueqin: The same to you. Come on in.

Health is very important. So new greetings normally have “Good health!”

Hope everything goes your way. May you succeed at whatever you try.

Have a successful career!

The Spring Festival visits in the past meant that relatives and friends will drop each other a visit. Everyone had candies and sunflower seeds for guests. They sat together and talked for a while. In the first and second day of the first lunar month, nobody would stay at home. They were all busy visiting each other. This social act is different from the modern way.

The tradition way of extending Spring Festival greetings includes to drop a visit or to send new year cards. In recent years, people began to use telephone, email and sms to extend their Spring Festival wishes.

Although people have different ways of extending the Spring Festival wishes now, for children, one thing still remains unchanged. This is, when they pay a Spring Festival visit to their elders, elders will give them Yasuiqian, like gift money. Since Yasuiqian is money put into a small red paper envelope, people also call it “red bag”.

Normally, our elders give us children new year money. We kowtow to them and give them our best wishes. They will give us new year money.

I received a small red bag, which contains little money in it. But I was so happy.

Actually, “sui” in yasuiqian has a phonetic synonym which means evil spirit. Yasuiqian is to get rid of this evil spirit and bad luck. So people give some money to bring good luck. In fact, at first people did not give money but other symbolic gifts. Then, they give money. No matter how big or small the amount is, it has symbolic meaning.

During the Spring Festival, I can receive a lot of money, about 1 or 2 thousand Yuan. I use it to pay the tuition fee for my afterschool classes.

After the 10th day of the first lunar month calendar, people begin to celebrate Yuanxiao festival. Yuanxiao festival is the 15th day of the first lunar month, another climax during Spring Festival celebration. Watching lanterns and eating Yuanxiao are two main activities for Yuanxiao festival celebration. On this day, people to go to guess riddles on lanterns at night and have a sumptuous dinner for celebration. The riddles games are full of wisdom and fun.

It is really bustling to watch lanterns on Yuanxiao Festival. Foreign friends will get to know what “Nian Nian You Yu” means, and other Chinese cultural phenomena. Lanterns contain many, legends and stories and auspicious idioms.

During the Spring Festival, one must be extremely careful in his or her acts and words. Because Chinese people want to have a nice start at the beginning of each year. Therefore there are many taboos during the Spring Festival. Some words should not be spoken and some things should not be done.

There are many taboos during the Spring Festival. One should not sweep on the first day of the first lunar month. If you sweep on that day, you should sweep from outdoors to indoors, but not from indoors to outdoors. If a child breaks something on that day, you should not blame him or her. You should say “To break is great for next year!” Break in Chinese has a phonetically synonym means Year. If a child says something bad, it is “Children words are no taboos.”

Actually I don’t know. Old people used to say the don’ts during the Spring Festival. For example, one should not have hair cut in the first lunar month. Things like this. But nowadays young people do not care much about these.

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