The celebration is believed to have originated in the form of red paper decorations of the houses to ward off Nian - a mythical beast that swallowed people and other animals - and thanking the gods. People also burst crackers and perform the lion and dragon dances to drive away evil spirits.
On the occasion of Chinese New Year, Fung paows or red envelopes are filled with money to ensure that the families will have good finances throughout the year. Also, fake gold and silver paper money is burned and offered to the gods for a prosperous year.
Windows and doors are decorated with red colour paper-cuts and couplets with popular about good fortune written on them. Chinese New Year's Eve, a day where Chinese families gather for their annual reunion dinner called Chuxi.
The fifteenth day of the New Year is celebrated as Yuanxiao Festival or the Lantern Festival. Rice dumplings ‘tangyuan’ - sweet glutinous rice balls brewed in a soup - are eaten on this day. Candles are lit outside houses as a way to guide good spirits back home and families’ walks are organized in the street carrying the lighted lanterns. This day often marks the end of the Chinese New Year festivities.
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