Celebration of the Spring Festival
The holiday is celebrated with the family – major cities are often half deserted, which reminds us of the short time it has been since China was a rural society. . Chinese “religion" as it were, is family and ancestor based, with its focus being on the family. Houses are swept clean, and posters of “door gods" are traditionally placed on front doors. Fireworks are set off. Foods associated with the New Year are niángāo 年糕, literally “year cake" which is not a cake at all but a sweet, stretchy, sticky pudding, and a Chinese favorite shòumiàn 寿命 which literally mean long life but which are also long uncut noodles. Shòumiàn are longevity noodles, so that one’s age may last the length of the long noodle.
The evening before is a family reunion dinner, often a ten course meal. A whole fish may symbolize abundance for the coming year, but the family may also eat chicken. This holiday is celebrated with parades, fireworks, and festivities in china, and in Chinatowns all over the world. It is also celebrated in Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and other Asian countries.
shòumiàn 寿命 means “long life", and it is also a long noodle associated with longevity
niángāo 年糕 is literally year niàn(年) cake gāo (糕)