Spring Festival, which is also called the Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year, usually starts from offering sacrifice to Zao Jun,the Kitchen God on the 23rd of the twelfth lunar month to the 15th of the first lunar month of the next year, during which the New Year's Eve and the first three days of the lunar year are the highlights. The celebration of Spring Festival varies from region to region and there is abundant of festivities during that time. It is the most important, the most ceremonious, the most age-old and the most hilarious traditional festival in China.
All people living away from home go back, becoming the busiest time for transportation systems of about half a month from the Spring Festival. Airports, railway stations and long-distance bus stations are crowded with home returnees.
This year, Hunan people have got another option for going back—taking the Wuhan-Guangzhou Passenger Dedicated Line. The whole journey from Wuhan to Guangzhou by the Wuhan-Guangzhou PDL just takes 2 hours and 46 minutes which means Hunan people get closer to home, and it's much easier to go home now.
The meal is more luxurious than usual. Dishes such as chicken, fish and bean curd cannot be excluded, for in Chinese, their pronunciations, respectively "ji", "yu" and "doufu," mean auspiciousness, abundance and richness.
Smoked fish and smoked meat are distinctive dishes when having New Year's Eve family dinner in Hunan.
There exists much knowledge in the dragon-lantern dance. The launch of the dragon is a worshiping ceremony because of the tradition that the Chinese people respect dragon very much.
When the dragon enters the yard, the host will light the firecrackers, and the dance will not stop until the firecrackers finish burning. When the dragon leaves, the host will set off firecrackers again.
In Hunan people usually take rice cakes on New Year's Day, which signifies "getting better and better every year".
Lots of people in Hunan prefer to stick red papers on the fronts of doors or at the two sides of doors, which implicates seeing delight and luck when you open the door.
On the New Year's Day,dumping rubbish is considered a taboo, but people still can broom it to the corner.
As the rise of Hunan Radio and Television Xiang Army, the spring festival gala evening held by Hunan TV has become the sine qua non when spending New Year in Hunan. The spring festival gala evening of Hunan has reflected the grassroots entertainment spirits of Hunanese.
The spring festival gala evening of Hunan is not just an entertainment show now but also the spiritual drogue for the cultural industries in Hunan and even the whole country.
In most parts of Hunan, there are some traditions about New Year visits: "on the first day, sons should visit parents; on the second day, daughters should visit parents; and on the third or fourth day, people visit each other in the neighborhood." The fifth day is usually considered as an improper day for visiting.
When someone is visiting in New Year, the host will set off firecrackers to welcome the guests; but in some parts of Hunan, guests will bring firecrackers by themselves while visiting.
The elders will prepare lucky money or Hongbao in Chinese (red packet) and send it to juniors, it is said that the lucky money can suppress evils. People believe that juniors who have received the lucky money can spend the whole year safely. The tradition of giving lucky money originates from ancient times. Nowadays, the sum of lucky money has soared.
Lita enjoys wrapping dumplings.
Lita comes from Africa and has special preference to dumplings. She showed her love to Hunan, "The people in Hunan are all very nice and friendly." She is also very interested in twelve Chinese zodiac animals.
Jenson likes setting off firecrackers
Jenson is from America and is now working in Changsha. He feels the New Year in Hunan is very entertaining and he has prepared a lot of fireworks. The festival atmosphere in Hunan amuses him very much.
Alice intends to wear Tang suit
Alice is from Seattle, America and is a teacher in a college of Changsha. In her eyes, the Chinese Spring Festival is just like the Christmas in America. She tells excitedly that she is going to ask friends to have Hunan cuisine and watch the spring festival party altogether.