By Judith Jango-Cohen
Chinese language New yr
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Additional resources for Chinese New Year (On My Own Holidays)
Some family members are missing because they have died. These relatives are remembered in a different way. The family sets up an altar for them. The altar may display spring couplets, candles, f lowers, and pictures of the relatives. Families offer food to the spirits of the relatives. This food is later eaten by the family. Bowls of oranges and red apples are also set out. The red is for happiness. Oranges are a symbol of wealth and good fortune. 29 After the meal, everyone nibbles on candies and fruit.
Every New Year’s Eve, it raged through villages. 32 It plucked up people and gulped them down. Then villagers discovered that loud sounds terrified the monster. Since then, earsplitting noise has been a custom of Chinese New Year. 33 A quiet ceremony takes place before bedtime. People welcome back the Kitchen God. He has returned from his visit with the Jade Emperor. People place food on his altar. They say prayers in his honor. Then, after the feast, fireworks, and prayers, it is finally time for sleep.
It is a time for favorite foods and family fun. Families exchange presents like peach blossoms and pussy willows. They also give gifts of candy, fruit, and rice cakes. Grown-ups hand children red and gold envelopes. What is inside? Lucky money! After New Year’s Day, there are still two more weeks of Chinese New Year. Each family celebrates in its own way. So does each city. Some places hold drum-thumping, stilt-walking, somersaulting parades. 38 Acrobats tumble. Bass drums rumble. Children perch on their parents’ shoulders.