Far and away the most important holiday in China is Spring Festival, also known as the Chinese New Year. To the Chinese people it is as important as Christmas to people in the West. The dates for this annual celebration are determined by the lunar calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar, so the timing of the holiday varies from late January to early February.
To the ordinary Chinese, the festival actually begins on the eve of the lunar New Year's Day and ends on the fifth day of the first month of the lunar calendar. But the 15th of the first month, which normally is called the Lantern Festival, means the official end of the Spring Festival in many parts of the country.
Preparations for the New Year begin the last few days of the last moon, when houses are thoroughly cleaned, debts repaid, hair cut and new clothes purchased. Houses are festooned with paper scrolls bearing auspicious antithetical couplet (as show on both side of the page) and in many homes, people burn incense at home and in the temples to pay respects to ancestors and ask the gods for good health in the coming months.
"Guo Nian," meaning "passing the year," is the common term among the Chinese people for celebrating the Spring Festival. It actually means greeting the new year. At midnight at the turn of the old and new year, people used to let off fire-crackers which serve to drive away the evil spirits and to greet the arrival of the new year. In an instant the whole city would be engulfed in the deafening noise of the firecrackers.
On New Year's Eve, all the members of families come together to feast. Jiaozi, a steamed dumpling as pictured below, is popular in the north, while southerners favor a sticky sweet glutinous rice pudding called nian gao.
春节的习俗：习俗：New year's Eve night, no matter how far the distance is, work is busy, people always want to return to their homes, eat a meal to circle round the dinner on New Year's eve. Sometimes I really can't get back home, family always keep for him a seat, a pair of chopsticks, said the reunion with him. The dinner also called" Carnival", is considered as the important family dinner. As the saying goes, hit one thousand, at ten thousand, thirty at night to eat meal.
祭灶:People, is a great influence in Chinese folk, popular customs. Formerly, almost every family kitchen with" Kitchen God" god. People call this deity as " contemporary Bodhisattva" or" free life", he is legend emperor letter" nine days East chef in kitchen palace monarch", responsible for the management of the fire, was used as a protector to be adored. Wang Kan mostly in the kitchen stove to the north or East, intermediate for the kitchen god of gods. No foci of Wang Kan people, there will be directly affixed to the wall of the gods. Some gods only painted the kitchen god one person, others have two men, the goddess known as "kitchen granny wang".
Good luck in the year ahead!
May you come into a good fortune!
Live long and proper!
May many fortunes find their way to you!
I want to wish you longevity and health!
Take good care of yourself in the year ahead.
Wishing you many future successes.
On this special day I send you New Year"s greetings and hope that some day soon we shall be together.