Chinese New Year is the most important of all traditional Chinese festivals. It is celebrated over fifteen days and it symbolises a new beginning. This is also a time when familial and social ties are reaffirmed. To usher in the New Year, families conduct a thorough spring-cleaning of their homes to symbolically “clean away” any inauspiciousness of the preceding year. This also readies their homes and paves the way for the arriving good luck in the coming year. Decorative items such as paper cut-outs, couplets and flowers are displayed prominently to ignite positive energies. The acts of buying new clothes and shoes and getting a new hair-cut also symbolise a fresh beginning. Importantly for Buddhists, devotional altars and statues are cleaned thoroughly and decorations and offerings from the previous year are replaced with fresh ones. On Chinese New Year’s Eve, families host the traditional Reunion Dinner. Wherever they may be, all family members make their way back home to honour family ties. Each of the fifteen days marks a special occasion and Thekchen Choling celebrates these with a series of activities. For instance, the first day honours the deities of the heavens and earth as well as seniors of the family. This day also marks birthday of Maitreya Buddha. The seventh day, traditionally known as Renri, celebrates the common man’s birthday. The ninth day observes the birthday of the Jade Emperor or Lord Indra. The fifteenth day celebrates Yuanxiaojie and marks the end of the festivities.
Chinese New Year 2017
Join us in the CNY celebration as we welcome the Year of the Rooster!