Spring Festival Eve
Spring Festival Eve is the holiday that falls on the day before the Chinese New Year. This day is observed on the last day of the 12th lunar month, which places it on the Gregorian calendar in either January or February, depending on the year. In Chinese culture, this is not only an auspicious holiday but also a reunion day for Chinese families.
In China, it’s a public holiday, so people have the day off, and many government offices, schools, and businesses are closed. It’s also a day on which a multitude of different customs is observed, many of which we’ll try to cover in this holiday article.
The History of Spring Festival Eve in China
Spring Festival Eve, or Chinese New Year’s Eve, was first observed during the Shang Dynasty. This is when the Chinese held sacrificial ceremonies in honor of their ancestors and the gods at the end of each year. During the Zhou Dynasty, the cultural practices began to evolve a bit, and many Chinese started burning bamboo to send it to the god of doors. Over the centuries, other traditions began to be added to this holiday as well.
Observing Spring Festival Eve in China
One of the main ways this holiday is celebrated is with a huge banquet known as a Happy Gathering. At this gathering, people enjoy traditional family dishes, and each member of the family must offer a sacrifice to their ancestors. It’s also customary for a seat to be provided at the table for each ancestor and for the eldest family member to pour them a drink.
It’s also customary for people to burn bamboo to keep evil forces out of their homes, and some people will set off fireworks to achieve the same effect. It’s also customary to make a bow out of peach wood in a tradition that dates back to the Qin Dynasty. This is to exorcise the evil forces that cause plagues. In China, there is also a live television show that’s broadcast. This show features dancing, singing, and sketch comedy skits. It also showcases various Chinese families enjoying the holiday.