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Customs and taboos at my hometown during spring festival

Popularity 4Viewed 5082 times 2016-2-15 23:05 |System category:Life| festival, required, spring, family, during

Guonian surely means lucky money and snacks, but the taboos people are required to avoid are as much as the customs should be abided by.


At my hometown, the rituals are simplified to the extent that, as I reckon, only eating chicken and visiting relatives are maintained. And the most complicated one should be preparing for family reunion dinner, burning incense and worship at the temple. Speaking of the reunion dinner, a typical one should include chicken, celery, lettuce or Suanmiao with pork—their homophonic meanings are diligence, fortune and shrewdness in money matters. Besides, Chinese beancurd sticks, black moss, black agaric are also common to be seen on the table.


With the smoke tailing itself from the remaining after burning fire crackers and fireworks, visiting relative is also a challenge--stuck in the traffic, people without private cars have to bear the coldness and carry packages. Moreover, meeting relatives not familiar with and forcing myself to search in mind the right topic to talk with is a torture to me, or else I would be labeled as knowing nothing better and some sincere words and earnest wishes come on the top on such findings. However, I can’t deny the happiness of recollecting memories, relating present condition and sharing the vision of the next year during such reunions, and it is spring festival that endows us with such chances.


The confusion brought by the taboos we must pay attention to as over against the joy brought by the spring festival is apparent. At my hometown, children are required to say lucky words while words like "si" and "shu", etc are forbidden. Besides, people shouldn’t wash hair until the third day of the New Year, nianchusan. The garbage shouldn’t be taken outside the house until the second day of New Year. Things should be handled with great carefulness, which means avoiding dropping anything on the floor. Even the extinction of the candles and incense should be avoided.


Now I am not as sensitive to Guonian as when I was a child—the reunion and celebration atmosphere has faded away. The occasion I looked forward to, with all those snacks, fire crackers ad lucky money, has lost attraction to me. The carefree longing and enjoyment were replaced by the sense of responsibility and the worries coming from nowhere.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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Reply Report Igo 2016-3-4 12:28
JasmineLuobo: Glad to receive your message. I've been indolent lately cause the new semester just started. Sorry for that~

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