Chinese Family Life

Chinese New Year 2016


Chinese New Year starts with preparations that I usually take part, but now taking care of our baby girl was more than enough this year. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law prepared the ghost money to be burned. On the eve of the new year, decorations are put up the doors, doorways and where ever you want to create a festive feeling. In the photo above is our front door with spring festival couplings that with the feeling of an older house.

In Guangzhou it’s a tradition to visit Flower Markets before the new year and decorate your home with fresh flowers. I’m terrible at taking care of flowers, so we decided to have only two sets, one in the first floor and another in the second floor. Home always feels more festive when you have fresh flowers in the vase.


Giving offerings to gods and ancestors is also an important part of the Chinese New Year. You place food and tea in front of the altar, light incense and quietly say a few words how ¬†you wish that god to protect your family the ¬†coming year. My parents-in-law also have an altar for the grandparents who aren’t with us anymore and food and drinks are offered from them as well.

Because this year we had a small baby to take care of, some traditions had to be postponed. The fire crackers were much smaller than before and we were already asleep before midnight when the year of the goat changed into the year of the monkey. But we had a nice family dinner and the next day went outside to enjoy the beautiful sunny weather.

On the second day of the new year it’s a custom for daughters to visit their homes. As my home is a bit far away, we wen’t with my mother-in-law to visit her home and relatives.

This year Spring Festival seemed to go past very quickly, but I hope to get more festive feeling next year when our baby is 1 year already and can enjoy the holiday and new traditions our family will be creating.

One Comment

  • R Zhao

    It’s so hard to participate in things with a newborn. I definitely felt that by the time he was 9 months to a year, doing things with William became easier and I could join in on a lot of activities I hadn’t done in awhile (just because it was tough to find the time, energy, or proper arrangements with a small baby). Now that he’s almost two, the holidays are so fun!

    We actually didn’t do much other than make dumplings for Chinese New Year this year. We are in the US and it’s hard to get into the spirit. My mother-in-law did manage to find the annual New Year’s broadcast (beloved by most Chinese, right?) online and she watched that with my step-daughter. :)


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