Chinese New Year
People living in the rural and urban areas have different ways to spend the New Year. Customs in rural areas of South Fujian Province has its own characteristics. In the village, the traditional sayings on red paper are pasted up on both sides of doors. Beside the doors lay the sugarcanes with circle of red paper pasted. That is the “door sugarcane”, which is called “men zhe” in modern Chinese. As the word “zhe” in dialect have the same pronunciation as “good”, it is believed that this will ensure the best of all. At the same time, such ritual offerings as new-year rice, long-life vegetable and “Fagao” are laid on the table in the center of the room. Many people would insert the "spring branches" made of the red and yellow paper into those offerings in the hope of perfect health and lasting prosperity. Meanwhile, Each family lights the dried vine branches stacked outside the house. Males take turns to leap over the flame and read, “Jump inside, may prosperity be with you; jump outside, may all unhappiness goes away; jump to the east side, may you always get more than you wish; jump to the west side, will you a more prosperous year ”. This is what we call “the fire walking ritual”, a symbol of a new beginning. After that, some of the ash remaining in the fire jumping ritual are added to the furnace to sustain a large enough flame, the process of which is called “Tain Wang”, a symbol of more prosperity in the coming year. The parents and children sit around the furnace on the New Year’s Eve to wait for the New Year’s arrival (It would be better to stay up all night). Then comes the “Fenyuan” process where parents and grandparents give the red envelopes with money inside to their kids. As the pace of life today has speeded up, some of the trivial customs in South Fujian Province have been abolished gradually. However, people in rural areas still hold to the traditional blessing for a good year. Just image all the family members sitting together around the stove at the deep winter night, what a warm picture it is!