Today is Chinese New Year’s Eve. As the last day of the old year, everyone is busy getting haircuts, buying new clothes, going to flower markets, and doing what in the West we would call Spring Cleaning.
Another important activity is the preparation of food for the next couple of days. It is important that dishes be prepared on New Year’s Eve because it is considered unlucky to use knives or scissors on New Year’s Day as it would cut your luck in half!
Everyone who can tries to make it home for the year’s most important family gathering, New Year’s Eve dinner. If a family member can’t make it home, a seat is usually left vacant in his or her honour.
At midnight following the feast, younger family members bow and pay their respects to their elders.
The Chinese New Year festivities, which go into high gear today, continue for just over two weeks, ending with the Lantern Festival, which take place on the 15th day of the New Year.
Copyright: Michael Taylor
Pictured: Man Wah Chinese Restaurant, Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
Photo Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental