The beginning of spring has just passed and the lunar new year is coming. So what are the customs of celebrating Chinese new year in Foshan? Let us have a look!
The 24th day of the last lunar month:
Xie Zao and Kai You Wok
Xie Zao is one of the most traditional folk customs in Foshan. At the night of the 23th or 24th of the last lunar month, Zao Jun, the kitchen god will report to the Jade Emperor. He works for a whole year to bless every family with food safety. People gave a farewell dinner to him in order to thank him, which is called Xie Zao.
New year “Kai You Wok” is a traditional Guangdong custom with a meaning of “Qi Wok”(the food is done), which often fries Dan San and You Jiao(a kind of fried dough). “You Jiao” sounds like “having angles” in Cantonese, which means being outstanding in the coming year.
The 28th day of the last lunar month:
Tidying up is mainly for saying goodbye to the old year and welcoming new year. People will clean the house on the 28th day of the last lunar month so as to welcome new year. Meanwhile, people are also dressed in new clothes for a fresh start.
The 30th day of the last lunar month:
have reunion dinner
On this day, after hanging up Hui Chun and the Chinese character of “blessing”, the whole family will have a reunion dinner together. There are usually some dishes with special meanings, such as fish for an abundant year, pig trotter for wealthy life, etc. Family gathering is what really matters rather than the feast.
“Sell laziness~sell laziness~sell it till new year’s eve.” After feeding themselves with a wonderful dinner, kids will take lanterns and sing the song while walking through the streets! It implies that children can overcome their lazy bad habits and study hard next year.
The 1st day of lunar year:
burn the first incense
At late night, many worshipers will gather around temples, wait for the new year ring and compete for the first incense for new year blessings.
Wandering the Ancestral Temple is the traditional program of Foshan people. Many towns and villages in Foshan will also hold lion dancing ceremony. Excellent lion dance and alive atmosphere make a very festive new year!
The 2nd day of lunar year:
going back to the wife’s home
In the morning, every household will eat “Kai Nian Meal”, where rooster is a must-have dish, meaning “have the vigor like a rooster”. After having the meal, married ladies will bring her husbands and children back to her parents’ home with Jian Dui, You Jiao, rice cake, etc.
The 3rd day of lunar year:
stick “Che Kou”
In Foshan, people have to stick “Che Kou” (a note of “no talking”) in the morning so that they can have a smooth year without quarrels and disasters. And there is also a saying “first day caught gold, second day caught sliver”. Therefore, the rubbish accumulated should be cleaned till the third day.
The 4th day of lunar year:
welcome Zao god
After sending Zao god to the paradise on the 24th day of the last lunar month, it is time to welcome Zao god coming back on this day.
The 5th day of lunar year:
pick up the god of wealth
Foshan people will worship the god of wealth on the 5th day of lunar year. The folk legend tells that the god of wealth is also called the god of five roads, east, west, south, north and center, all of which are places to gain fortune
The 6th day of lunar year:
send away poor luck
For good luck, people will send away poor luck on this day, which is a characteristic custom in ancient times. People will offer sacrifice to send away the poor god.
The 7th day of lunar year:
the birthday of human
It is said that Nv Wa(a goddess who created the world) made human on the 7th day after making animals, so this day is the birthday of human.
The 8th day of lunar year:
Because “eight” has a similar sound of “fa” in Chinese, which means making a fortune, many Foshan people will open business on this day to bless for blooming business and plentiful treasures this year. Some employers will also send red packets to employees for good luck!