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Chinese Conversation Clips – Chinese New Year Traditions

English translation of video content:

Chris: So what do the Chinese do to celebrate the new year, what kind of activities are there?

Becca: There are a lot of activities. Firstly, the whole country will have a seven day holiday, starting from the first day of the new year. No matter what job you do or which city you work in, everyone enjoys this holiday.

People go back home early to prepare to celebrate the festival. Food is closely related to the Spring Festival, so we prepare a lot of traditional food in advance.

In addition, we live a better life nowadays and we can enjoy everything we want. However, in the past, Chinese families were quite poor, so they would store delicious food and new clothes up until the Spring Festival. So people could wear new clothes and eat delicious food during Spring Festival. Apart from that, setting off firecrackers is another tradition. You must have experienced it before.

Chris: In foreign countries, I often hear the noise of firecrackers and fireworks, especially in China Town, during Spring Festival. Talking about food, nianyefan (the New Year’s Eve Dinner) is an important part, right? What is that?

Becca: The New Year’s Eve Dinner varies in different places in China. In general, the family get together and prepare a whole table of food to share. As a rule, there needs to be a dish of fish on the table, because fish in Chinese is pronounced yu, which is [almost] the same pronunciation as in fuyu, meaning sufficient. So, people take that homophone to stand for being sufficient every year. Duck, chicken, and meat dishes also represent richness. Whenever there’s a festival, the Chinese eat dumplings, because making dumplings means stuffing happiness and reunion into your hand.

Chris: As you know, I love eating dumplings.

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