Spring Festival

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Spring Festival is the most important festival in China. All the traditional festivals in China are based on the Chinese lunar calendar and the Spring Festival marks the beginning of the Chinese Lunar New Year. “Guo nian”, the most widely used expression for “Celebrating the Spring Festival” in Chinese, actually means “warding off the monster Nian” when translated literally.
Since the Spring Festival marks the first day of a brand new year, the first meal is considered to hold special significance capable of bringing either good auspices or bad omens. Therefore there are a wide variety of traditions associated with the food that are eaten on this day.
In Northern China, people usually eat Jiaozi or dumplings that are shaped like a crescent moon. It is said that dumplings were first made in China some 1,600 years ago. In Chinese pronunciation Jiaozi resembles the phrase that means transition into the Zi (the first of twelve “eathy branches” ) – thereby representing the start of a new cycle. According to historical records, people from both the north and the south ate dumplings on Chinese New Year’s Day. Perhaps because Southern China produced more rice than any other area, the south gradually adopted other holiday-specific foods pushing the dumplings into the background.

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Nowadays, most people in China’s rural areas still hold to these traditional celebrations. However, as the pace of life continues to quicken in the cities, urban residents have taken up new ways to celebrate the Chinese New Year. For example, many city dwellers no longer bother to send out greeting cards. Instead, they use instant messages to convey greetings to relatives and friends

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