The Spring Festival
by Zhou Jieyun
(Chengdu, Sichuan, China)
The Spring Festival is the most important festival in China. There is a Chinese common saying that, "No matter whether you have money or not, you should come back to your home to enjoy the Spring Festival with your whole family."
Because many young guys leave their parents for future development, it is very common for young people to find a job in another province. So Spring Festival may be the only chance to see their parents in the whole year.
So at this time of every year, all Chinese people only care about one thing, to go back home as soon as possible. All the relatives get together to celebrate the new year. We talk a lot about the past year and think a lot about the coming year.
The most important meal of this year must contain chicken, duck, fish, meat, and so on. But you can't eat them all up; something must be left. Because it means “年年有余”, the meaning is that every year there must be something left such as money, food, and so on. This kind of meaning is very important to the Chinese family, because this tradition is passed from generation to generation.
If you are a child who does not have a job, at this time you can get a red packet which has some money in it from your relatives. We call it “压岁钱”. Its meaning is that the ancestors want their children to have a peaceful and safe year.
But next year, because I will stay in Japan, it will be the first year I can't enjoy the festival with my family. What a pity.