This year on Chinese New Year we celebrate the Wood Goat, which only occurs every 60 years.
On the days right before the New Year, Chinese families give their home a thorough cleaning. They “wash away the dirt.” They believe that the cleaning sweeps away the bad luck of the preceding year and gets their homes ready for good luck.
On Chinese New Year brooms and cleaning supplies are put away so the good luck can’t be swept away. Some people give their homes, doors and window-frames a new coat of paint or some new decorations. People buy new clothing and shoes because it represents a new start. If you need a haircut do it before the New Year because if you get one on Chinese New year it is thought to be bad luck due to the fact that the word ‘hair’ is similar to the word ‘prosperity’. Businesses and people are expected to pay off all the debts before the New Year eve. Most people send gifts to close business associates, and family members.
The New Year’s Eve dinner is the most important dinner for Chinese. In the New Year’s Eve dinner, usually fish is the main dish and sometimes dumplings. Most people will eat New Year’s Eve dinner at home instead of restaurant.
At midnight fireworks are set off to drive the evil away and to celebrate the New Year. They say that the person who launched the first Fireworks in the New Year will get good luck.
They give each other little red packets with a little bit money in to elderly people, children and newly married couples. It was believed that the money in the red packet can ward off evil, keep the children healthy, and give a long life. Red paper lanterns are hung inside the house as wells as at the front door.