Chinese all over the world celebrate Chinese New Year in February when the
Lunar Year usually begins. In Malaysia, the Chinese celebrate the event with
a festive spirit as it is the most important festival to them and every
Chinese home is made ready for the great event.
The preparations begin a month or so earlier as there are many things to
be done before the great day arrives. Shops and supermarkets stock all kinds
of Chinese delicacies, eg. sweetmeats,
melon seeds and packets of specialities such as groundnuts which the Chinese
must obtain and store up for the festival.
In Chinese homes, the womenfolk get busy making cakes, biscuits,
glutinous rice cakes and jellies which are stored away carefully, out of the
reach of young children. Homes are spruced up,
new curtains sewn, and new cushions and carpets bought to give the home a
new look. Red lanterns are hung outside and new pots of flowers and Mandarin
orange plants are placed in the garden.
Children are the ones who enjoy the festive season most. They receive red
packets containing money from their parents and their elders. New dresses
are worn and old things cast aside as
the New Year is supposed to be the start of a new period in their lives and
everyone follows these traditional customs.
On New Year's eve, the whole family gathers in the parents' home for a
re-union dinner. Many delicious dishes make up the meal and everyone enjoys
himself. This is only the start of the Chinese New Year celebrations which
stretch on for a period of fifteen days.