New Year’s Eve Dinner
The New Year's Eve dinner is the most important dinner for the Chinese. This is the family reunion dinner, especially for those with family members away from home. Fish and dumpling will be served, as these two dishes signify prosperity. Other dishes are dependent on personal preference. The majority of Chinese will have New Year's Eve dinner at home instead of a restaurant.
Right after 12:00PM on New Year's Eve, fireworks will be launched to celebrate the coming of the New Year as well as to drive away the evil. It is believed that the person who launched the first firework of the New Year will obtain good luck
The Red packet is a red envelope with money in it, which ranges from one to a few thousand Chinese Yuan. Usually the red racket is given by adults, especially married couples, and elderly to young children in the New Year days. It was believed that the money in the red packet will suppress the evil from the children, keep them healthy, and give them a long life.
Cleaning & Decoration
A few days before the Chinese New Year, people will do a complete cleaning of the house and house wares, which signifies to remove the old and welcome the new. Historically, when bathing did not occur often, people would normally take one to welcome the New Year. After the cleaning, people will decorate the house to welcome the New Year. Most of the decorations are red in color. The most popular New Year decorations are lanterns, year paint, paper cutting, door gods, etc.
Shou Sui means "after the New Year's Eve dinner" as family members will normally stay awake during the night. According to tales and legends, there was a mythical beast named the "Year" and at the night of New Year's Eve, the "Year" will come out to harm people, animals, and proprieties. Later, people found that the "Year" is afraid of the color red, fire, and loud sounds. Therefore, at the New Year's Eve night, people will launch fireworks, light fires, and stay awakes the whole night to fend off the "Year".