Why Chinese people let off firecrackers at 'New Year'

People carry out the traditional house cleaning ahead of the Spring Festival. It’s called “sweeping the dust” and is believed to rid houses of bad luck and welcome in a new year

Why Chinese people let off firecrackers at 'New Year'

Feast: Owners of Warrnambool's Emporer's House Chinese Restaurant Andy Zheng, Lin Chen and chef David Tiong are preparing traditional Chinese dishes to welcome the Year of the Rooster. Another popular food is the New Year cake.

The Year of the Rooster is the last year in the Chinese Lunar Calendar.

Other New Year traditions include eating dumplings in northern China and lighting fireworks.

The Chinese government has made the new year's arrival a state holiday, giving people seven days to visit family and friends. Today, young Chinese are more willing to travel at off-peak times than their more traditional ancestors were, and the technology of rail trains has drastically improved.

On Saturday, the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington was filled with Chinese music and shouts of joy of young children.

Just as Americans decorate - often with the color red - for Christmas, so, too, do Asians decorate for Lunar New Year.

Will you see a lion dance, admire the fascinating dough sculptures often seen around the dawn of a new year, watch martial arts in action, and dine upon traditional Chinese dishes, from noodles to meats to candies?

Many people headed to temples and fairs across China to wish for good fortune at the start of the Lunar New Year.

How is the Lunar New Year celebrated? Big families of several generations sit around round tables and enjoy the food and time together.

A recent poll on 1,000 residents in the capital showed 83 percent of interviewees said they would not set off fireworks during Spring Festival.

Thousands of people attended festivities in Johanneburg hosted by the Chinese Association that's been around since 1903.

The lunar new year officially begins with Saturday's new moon.

Numerous grad students at Brock University are from overseas and Li is hoping to make them feel welcome and maybe a little less homesick during what is one of the biggest holidays of the year, and for numerous students probably their first time being so far away from home.

Avoid sweeping garbage: According to Chinese traditions, sweeping garbage on New Year's Day is associated with sweeping the wealth away.

The Chinese New Year holiday is normally marked by displays of fireworks and firecrackers, which are believed to scare off evil spirits.

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