Chinese New Year

金陵 輯註

January 24, 2000


The most important holiday in China is the Lunar New Year(農曆年). Since it is based on the lunar calendar(農曆), it comes about a month later than the Western New Year. The Chinese New Year season traditionally lasts about a month . The period has now been reduced to a week or less. There are some parallels(相似之處) with the Western New Year: houses are cleaned thoroughly, for instance , and families all get together for the festivities(慶祝活動). All debts must be paid off (還清)so that new year can be started with a fresh beginning. Feasts are enjoyed with family and friends, and there are lively dragon and lion dances(舞龍,舞獅) in the streets. Everywhere there is the sound of fire cracker explosions(放爆竹,鞭炮). Children receive gifts of little red envelopes(紅包) with money inside them.

Many superstitions(迷信) are related to the celebration of the Chinese New Year. No sweeping (掃地)must be done in case the family's good fortune will be swept out the door(掃出門) with the trash(垃圾). One should be especially careful not to break any dishes, for such an accident is believed to bring about serious problems between members of the family throughout the coming year. Conservative families(保守家庭) send their kitchen god (灶神)off to make his annual report in heaven on New Year's Eve. This god is worshipped in the form of a paper portrait (紙晝)of the god pasted on(貼在) the kitchen wall. There he keeps an eye on(監看) his human family throughout the year, and goes back to heaven to report on what he has seen. To send him on his trip, he is taken off the wall and burned, but not before some sweet paste(甜糊,通常用麥芽糖放在灶口) and wine are spread over his mouth to make sure that he gives a good report about the family.

At New Year's time most Chinese families paste signs(貼對聯) on and around the front doors of their homes. These signs consist of black or gold Chinese characters (中文字)written on squares(方塊) or strips(長條) of red paper, because red is a happy color which brings good luck. The New Year sayings written on them are usually good luck phrases(吉祥語句), or words related to spring—a symbol or new growth, new hope, new beginnings—since in China the New Year also marks the beginning of spring. On New Year's Day(大年初一) people dress in their best clothes to go visiting relatives and friends, wishing everyone they meet a Happy New Year. Most shops are closed on this day; some stay closed for three days some up to a week, and then open their doors to the new year with the explosion of
long  strings (
長串) of fire crackers.

--- from pp.118-119, Breakthrough 3 by Oxford University Press 1978

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http://www.ep66.com.tw/Tec31a.htm

 

註:新年習俗

1. 貼在灶神兩旁的對聯是:上天言好事,下界保平安。
2. 過年時祖宗牌位上所寫的字是:天地君親師 神位。
3. 怕兒童說不吉祥的話,而寫:童言無忌。
4. 打碎碗盤時說:歲歲(碎碎)平安。
5. 在家門對面寫:對我生財。
6. 常見的對聯是:「天增歲月人增壽,春滿乾坤福滿門」。
7. 有一則笑話是:有位傻小子,為其母祝壽,套用上句改為:
    「天增歲月增壽,春滿乾坤滿門」。

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