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(Ⅱ)Vigil on the Lunar New Year’s Eve : the Customs

On the lunar New Year’s Eve which connects and separates the old and new years, families get together for a reunion. All members sit together around a table with tea, pastries and fruits on it.

Apple is a must, for it is the symbol of peace and safety.

In the north, a bowl of rice is served to the table called “rice of the past year”. The implication is that food is left over from the previous year and there will be an abundance of food every year. The rice is usually made of a mixture of rice and millet. Since it is a mixture of yellow and white grains, it is also known as “the gold and silver rice”.

The pastries and fruits served are meant for good luck: dates (the spring comes early), dried persimmons (everything goes well), almonds (people are happy), peanuts (everyone lives a long life), and New Year cakes made of glutinous rice flour (the New Year is better than the old one). All family members eat together, chatting and laughing, enjoying the reunion.

Also, people may play “paijiu” (a Chinese gambling game), throw dice, and play mahjong and other games. The Spring Festival climaxes with the laughter and clamor of the games.

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