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Spring Festival in Guangdong

Updated: 2014-01-07 13:17:29

The last day of the lunar year is called "Suichu" and the evening of the day is called "New Year's Eve", or "Spending Spring Festival" as traditionally called by Chaoshan people. Atmosphere of Spring Festival in the south is as intense as that in the north.

According to the old custom, men used to have their hair cut and women used to remove thin hair on their face with a yarn thread before Spring Festival. Modern women would do hairdressing and receive beauty treatment prior to New Year days.

On New Year's Eve, every farming family would make sure that their water jars are filled with water, rice jars are filled with rice, and lamps are remained on, which implies the good omen of "Fortune is endless every year" and "Food will be sufficient all the year round".

All family members would get together to have "Unity" dinner after sacrificing to their ancestors who are never forgotten by them.

The first day of the first lunar month is called "Yuanri". Most of families would abstain from eating meat in all meals or at least at breakfast on that day. After finishing breakfast, adults would take their children and pay New Year call to relatives and friends; both hosts and guests would utter some propitious words to each other, such as "May all your heart's wishes be fulfilled" and "May you be prosperous".

In the morning, some lion-dance playing teams and singing teams would pay New Year call to every family in villages, beating drums and striking gongs. All housemasters would set off firecrackers to greet the teams. People who pay New Year call to others during Spring Festival would not forget to bring Mandarin oranges as a gift no matter how many gifts they intend to present. "Mandarin orange" has a homonymic tone as "Auspiciousness" in Chinese. The number of Mandarin oranges to be presented is not limited, but odd number should be avoided.


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