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India vs China—Who’s going to be the number one?

India and China – the two Asian giants – are world famous for their ancient architectural wonders, population, lead influence in the worldwide trade war, greatest military powers, and the front-line racers in the evolving phase of global supremes.

An overview of Chinese Cuisine

Like all other significant pillars of Chinese masterpieces, Chinese cuisine contributes a lot to the making of overall Chinese culture. The configuration of Chinese cuisine is an amalgamation of cooking practices originating from diverse regions of China as well as of the Chinese people from other parts of the world.

Inheriting a lot from the cuisines of the other Asian countries, it has, in turn, remarkably influenced the long-carried features of theirs, modifying the local palates in a better way.

The criteria for cooking techniques of different Chinese provinces largely vary due to the distinct historical background sharing, along with the origin and diversity of the ethnic groups.

Climatic variation, from tropical in the south to subarctic in the northeast, coupled with the geographical distribution of China – including mountains, rivers, deserts, and forests – penetrate deeper into the locally available ingredients, affecting the taste and the nutrients composition inexplicably.

The other factors like the imperial, noble, and royal preferences also play a role in transforming Chinese cuisine. The expansion of imperialism and trading, way back in the 18th century, brought cooking techniques from other parts of the world to the Chinese kitchens.

Such is the importance of Chinese cuisine in Chinese Philosophy that food is often used as a component of the figure of speech, to express something indirectly.

Like the Chinese philosopher I Ching puts it, “Gentlemen use eating as a way to attain happiness. They should be aware of what they say and refrain from eating too much.”

The significance of Chinese cuisine is inseparable for the Chinese people. Even in the foreign lands, as the effect of Chinese cuisine is deeply penetrated now, the migrants from China don’t have to rely solely on the local food.

Facts about Chinese Cuisine

Every country has its own set of cooking and eating practices aligned across the centuries-old traditions and unbroken chain of followership, which gets carried generation after generation, to the modern time – just to find itself morphed into a unique state.

So is the story of Chinese cuisine – the oldest and most famous in the world – embedded with a ton load of facts and myths that collectively give it a route into the vast world of food lovers.

10 Crucial Facts about Chinese Cuisine

Tradition and superstition

Traditional Chinese cuisine is dictated a lot by superstitions and age-old traditions. Certain dishes can only be eaten during particular times of the year so that it could bring good luck.

Eat fresh

The Chinese would rather visit the market every day to buy fresh vegetables and meat than live off tinned or canned food. They always prefer to go for fresh seasonal foods.

Eat anything under the sun

Well almost! Starting from raw octopus and dog hotpot to pig’s ears, intestines, snakes and scorpions –anything that foreigners might find unusual are popular in the East Asia cultures.

Rare veggies

The most unfamiliar vegetables have found a place in the incredible Chinese cuisine. Bitter cucumber, tree fungi, and strange weeds are some names that one can possibly translate to relate!

Chinese vegetables

Food boundary

Contrary to our belief, rice is not really the staple for the entire Chinese population. In the colder northern parts of the country, wheat and its derivatives are more popular.

Incredible flavors

The range of flavors in Chinese cuisine varies incredibly worldwide. Flavors keep changing as you travel from one part of China to another.

Chopsticks tax

There is a disposable chopsticks charge in China to curtail the use of 45 billion pairs of chopsticks a year! Now, that’s a whopping amount for sure!

Confusing names

Never go by the names of dishes, to save yourself from getting misled. For instance, if you think “Field Chicken” is your soul food, it is actually a frog dish—note that!

Why chopsticks

Forks and knives (what we use) are considered as weapons in the East Asia cultures and thus deemed inappropriate. Chopsticks were, therefore, invented.

Soup in the end

Soup is the last dish in a full course Chinese meal because it is meant to aid digestion. And in most parts of the world, we begin meals with the soup!

Chinese food list

China’s Regional Cuisines

A perfect monotonous numbing flavor and the ‘sticky rice,’ beers, baijiu and vinegar, and lotus leaf rice set a paradigm for Chinese cuisines, helping it reach every nook and corner of the world.

Irrespective of the culture, geographical climate, history, cooking techniques and lifestyle, the peculiar style and taste – added with loads of nutritious and healthy diet pattern – enriches energy.

The historical irony may hold a lot more value in the culinary aspect as the shift from defining each ingredient in their recipe during the 17th century, has moved to traces of Shandong and Guangdong spices, being added in their food preparations nowadays.

Over time, many immigrants and East Asian cultures have amalgamated into China’s regional cuisines.

Types of regional cuisines in China

  • Western: strong halal food; the main meat is the sheep.
  • Northern: salty, regular; the staple food is wheat and fewer vegetables
  • Central: spicy with seasonings
  • Eastern: sweet and light
  • Southern minority: sour dishes

Cantonese

They serve this style with tea in the last. Multiple varieties of fried, steamed, stewed and baked dim sum are the main serving. Dishes included in this category are rice rolls, lotus leaf rice, turnip cakes, buns, jiaozi-style dumplings, stir-fried green vegetables, congee porridge, soups, etc.

Sichuan

The most common ingredients used are peanuts, sesame paste, chili peppers, and ginger, collectively producing pungency and spiciness into the dishes, in this style.

Anhui

The taste and the offering of this style get boosted with local herbs and vegetables, such as fresh bamboo and mushroom crops.

Shandong

Reliance mostly on seafood; and use of variant culinary techniques is seen in this cuisine.

Fujian

Focused on a good deal of seafood, in this style, food is served in a broth or soup. They prepare the items related to braising, stewing, steaming, and boiling as the main course.

Chinese Cuisine Traditional Foods

If you ever try searching for fried rice and chili chicken in the streets of China, be prepared to feel disappointed.

 Why?

Because these are perhaps among the many dishes you would struggle to find in the list of traditional Chinese dishes. Yes, traditional cuisine in China is incredibly diverse, exciting, and rich—just like their culture; but it is so much more than our all-time favorites ‘chilly chicken and fried rice’!

Wondering what the traditional Chinese dishes are like?

Well, here is a quick list for you to drool over.

Hong Shao Rou

Translated into English, this dish is Red Braised Pork Belly. Originating in Shanghai, this is one of the most ‘drool-worthy’ Chinese dishes that are sure to tickle your taste buds. It is full of varied flavors which are brought in by the use of various aromatic spices, ginger, garlic, chili pepper, soya sauce, sugar, and rice wine.

Main food of China
Red Braised Pork Belly

Peking Duck

A smash hit with both the locals and foreigners in China, Peking Duck or Beijing Duck is a classic dish. It is exceptionally delicious with its eclectic mix of different sauces and succulent duck meat (including the skin). And the best thing is that it is not only available in Beijing, but all throughout China – and in its most authentic form.

Chinese cuisine Pecking duck
A smash hit with both the locals and foreigners in China

Wontons

The origin of Wontons in China can be traced back to the times of the Tang Dynasty (618–907 AD) and was eaten customarily during the winter solstice.

These are delectable, quick to prepare, and can be cooked using different stuffing of either vegetables or minced meat. You can either try the fried wontons as scrumptious snacks or taste the soupy variant.

Chinese food Wonton
Classic wonton

Hotpot

This is one of the more versatile Chinese dishes you can easily find all across China. Of course, there are regional variations in the spices and meats that are used to prepare this dish. Bound to be a great choice to keep yourself warm in the colder regions, hotpot is widely welcomed throughout the year. If you love super spicy food, you must try this dish!

Chinese hot pot

In China, the tastes and aromas of traditional foods vary as you move from one province to another. You have to try them to cherish them!

Eating with Kids in China—What you need to know

Traveling with kids is an enjoyable experience as long as one knows how to keep them safe and healthy during the trip. It is very important to pay attention to their meals, especially while traveling.

Taking kids to the right restaurants

The most important requirement for choosing a restaurant is hygiene. Restaurants should have hygiene licenses. Most lavish restaurants provide baby-seats to seat the younger kids comfortably. Cities like Shanghai and Beijing have kids-themed restaurants for them, to keep up the excitement going.

Choose among the popular dishes according to your kids’ taste

Not all Chinese dishes may be palatable to them. There are lots of common dishes that you can choose from, like dumplings, noodles, fried rice, sweet and sour pork, egg roll, etc. For young kids, it is better to avoid fish, uncooked food, and street food in China.

Helping them wait

Chinese restaurants might take a long time in serving food. Helping kids to stay occupied can make the wait easier.

Use of proper Tableware

Keep a check if the tableware has been cleaned properly. Using chopsticks might not be a great idea, so you can always ask for a spoon while having a meal.

Most Popular Chinese Dishes

In China, the traditional way to greet anyone (if translated in English) means “Have you eaten yet?” So in a country like this, you can rest assured that the food will be amazing and mouthwatering.

Chinese food is gaining its popularity all over the world, because of its authentic taste and the ingredients used to make the dishes. A lot of fresh vegetables are used to cook the meal which makes the dish tastier. Sauces and seasoning are also used to provide a great blend of flavor and aroma.

Listed below are some of the most popular Chinese Dishes:

Jiaozi

It is also called Chinese dumpling, having a history of around 2000 years. Dumplings are truly one of the most known Chinese dishes and they deserve to be among the best top 5 dishes.

It is made up of ground meat and/or vegetables filled in it, and it is wrapped into a roll which is a piece of dough, which it is then sealed by tightening the edges.

Jiaozi traditional Chinese food
History of 2000 years

It is one of the most eminent foods in Spring Festival and Winter Solstice. There is a lot of variety in Chinese dumplings as they are stuffed with sugar, date, peanut or walnut. You can eat one according to your choice but all of them are equally tasty.

Mapo Tofu

This dish is very popular throughout China, and it is typically a Sichuan Cuisine. The name of this dish was named after a spotted woman (in Chinese, it is called “Mapo”) as that lady was famous for preparing relishing stir-fried tofu in Chengdu.

Mapo Tofu China food culture
Atypical Sichuan Cuisine

Main ingredients used to make this dish are tofu, chili peppers, ground beef/pork, and Sichuan peppers.

It is said that China tour is incomplete without tasting this spicy Sichuan food, starting with Mapo Tofu. It’s difficult to avoid the freshly made and tender tofu with a good spicy chili sauce which is made of ground meat, a broad bean paste, and wild peppers.  Sichuan Sauce, along with it, makes it even more delicious!

Wonton

No matter wherever you plan to visit China, you’ll always get ample opportunities to taste this popular Chinese dish. They are soft, still, firm bundles of flavor, whether you eat them steamed, fried, or maybe floating in the broth. In all the ways, wontons taste amazingly great.

Chinese food list with pictures

Very easy in form and filling, the wrapper of the wonton is made up of superior flour by the process kneading and fermentation. It is made special by plentiful fillings, like pork and other meats such as shrimps, and are also filled with fresh vegetables. There are wontons for every kind of taste.

Sauteed Sweet and Sour Pork

Sweet and Sour Tenderloin Pork are said to be the classic cuisines in China. Sweet and Sour Pork of Shandong Cuisine is very famous in China.

Types of Chinese food
sweet and sour at the same time

The main material of the dish is pork tenderloin. First, the meat is mixed with starch and flour; then, it is deep-fried in the oil until the surface of it turns golden. Then they stir-fry the meat and prepare the sweet and sour sauce.

This cuisine tastes sour and sweet and is very crispy outside and from inside, it is soft, so it can stimulate any person’s appetite. Sautéed Sweet and Sour Pork Tenderloin, is found on menus all over the country, as it highlights the versatility and regional blaze from every province.

Spring Rolls

Who does not know about this Chinese Dish? Spring rolls symbolize wealth and prosperity, as their color and shape are like a gold bar.

The skin of the Spring Rolls is made up of white flour, water, and salt; the fillings are usually made of ground meat or red bean paste and then they are deep-fried in hot oil till the color of the skin becomes golden. The outer part of the Spring Rolls is very crisp and the fillings of it are tender and fragrant.

Spring roll Shandong cuisine
Symbolize wealth and prosperity

So, include these dishes in your list and whenever you get a chance, you should undoubtedly try them as they are full of fresh vegetables and meat. And not to forget the Chinese sauces which add to the flavor and aroma of the food. So, never miss a chance to taste the real and traditional Chinese food as it is very different from the food that you might have eaten.

Chinese Soups and their categories

Chinese cuisines are well known as they are very different and original because of the various cultures and regions which make up China. Because of such diversity, Chinese food has become very famous globally, and especially Chinese soup.

Chinese chefs are also in demand all around the world as it is very difficult to make Chinese soup without the required skill and expertise. The creativity of Chinese chefs has made it viable to come up with such a fantastic assortment of Chinese soups which are distinct in flavors and texture.

Broadly the Chinese soups have been divided into two categories—these are thin soups and thick soups.

Let us know more about them

Thin Soup

Thin soups are usually prepared from a clear broth that is cooked very quickly and in it, the ingredients are added at the end.

Mostly thin soup is served as a beverage in China as it is believed that this soup is a very good appetizer. Thin soup is usually chicken or spinach soup which is served as a beverage or in banquets between courses.

Thick Soup

On the contrary, thick soups are cooked by putting all the ingredients in one go and get cooked in a slow process, in order to blend the flavors aptly. After that, cornstarch is also added to make the soup thick.

Thick soup is usually served for lunch or dinner as it makes a great dish, specifically for lunch as this soup is very filling. Few of the thick soups are sharks’ fin soup, hot and sour soup served with mu shu pork as these soups are served as a proper meal which has no other dishes.

All the Chinese soups have stock added in them. The stock is prepared by boiling vegetables, meat, and bones into a liquid porridge so that it can release the flavor. The stock is also made from, at times, a whole chicken, bones, and gourmet. Whichever Chinese soup you drink whether thin or thick, both types of soups are really good for health.

Alcoholic Beverages

A perfect blend of fermented beverages with main ingredients such as fruits, berries, grains – along with ingredients such as plant saps, tubers, honey, and milk – extracts sugar. The diluted water imparts much of the tastes into the liquid, to yield greater alcoholic strength.

Alcoholic beverages—such as Beer, Cider, Wine, and Spirit—are in regular use from around 10,000 BC.

“An alcoholic beverage can refer to any liquor or brew that contains alcohol.”  When we talk about wine, it has been in use for past 8,000 years and the innovation traversed upon many miles to reach another part of the world through the human fleet migration.

Beer and wine are not the end of innovations in alcohol but continued with modernization in the form known as spirits.

The most preferred alcoholic beverages in China:

Huangjiu

Despite its name, Huangjiu is a ‘yellow wine’ brewed using grains. Further, the brewed grains is pasteurized and bottled later. The appearance looks clear, beige, and yellowish. The presence of alcoholic content is 15% to 20%.

This is one among the oldest Chinese alcoholic drinks prepared from ingredients such as water, cereals; and grains such as rice, millet, wheat, sorghum. It tastes mellow and sweet.

Its major production is in mainland China and Taiwan. Huangjiu contains many amino acids which are essential for health.

Baijiu

Baijiu preparation has been in use since 1368. They use sorghum-based shaojiu and refer to it as “Chinese vodka”. This enriches very strong flavors.

Baijiu is a sauce-scented prestigious brand available within China and in local terms, they say it as “Mao-t’ai”. It contains alcohol that ranges between 28% and 65%. They call it ‘white alcohol’ as it is a clear liquid.

Chinese wine
A glass and bottle of Jiugui (酒鬼; pinyin: jiǔ guǐ; lit. “drunkard” or “alcoholic”; also called Sot), a brand of baijiu

Beer

Beer is served brewed in Chinese cuisine. Beer is very famous and well-known since the 9600 B.C. Its preparation is complicated, taking the mixture of multi-varied starches which starts from fermenting malted barley, rice, wheat, or maize, for the formation. Cider is a festered apple juice. They serve it as a starter drink in a few styles of Chinese cuisine.

Chinese beer

Wine

Different cuisines of China have different names for wine: these are Changyu Pioneer Wine, China Great Wall Wine, and Dynasty Wine. These are more commonly noticed in the regions of Yantai, Beijing, and Ningxia; Zhangjiakou in Hebei, Yibin in Sichuan, Tonghua in Jilin, Taiyuan in Shanxi.

They traditionally extract wine from musles to prepare Uyghur drink. Also, in the last eight years, a controversial preparation known as Tiger Bone Wine has gained tremendous popularity among the public.

Chinese Cuisine Noodles – Easy and Tasty

Noodles are considered as the main food in China. There is a numerous variety of noodles available in different regions of China. Every area of China provides various kinds of noodles, with its different techniques and flavors. Not only in China but noodles are also popular worldwide.

Noodles are an essential and primary need in Chinese cooking. Chinese noodles generally fluctuate as indicated by the area of preparation, fixings, shape or width, and way of arrangement.

Chinese noodles

The inception of Chinese noodles set foot in the Han tradition having a history of over 4,000 years.

Furthermore, the creation of noodles and their large-scale manufacturing have significantly changed the way of doing noodle business globally and China for that matter. Fundamentally, noodles are a sort of oat nourishment which is the principal body of the conventional Chinese eating regimen.

Why is Chinese Cuisine noodles so popular?

1. Cheap

Noodle is popular in East Asian culture because it costs dirt cheap.

2. Easy and Convenient

Noodles are one of the most convenient and easy things to cook and do not even require much cooking expertise. You just have to boil the water and pour the noodles into it. The heat and the packaged spices do rest of the work, leaving a tongue-tickling taste. It’s as simple as that.

3. Quick Meal

Noodles get prepared in a fraction of minutes and save the maker’s time. The people who come from the office, and tired, do not have much energy to cook. So, instead of ordering from outside, they prefer preparing noodles because the preparation is as quick as setting up the initials for a hefty dinner cooking.

4. Variety of flavors

It’s difficult to get bored with noodles, as these come in different flavors.

5. Ways to cook

You can combine noodles with any vegetable and cook differently, as experimenting with food always enhances the taste. As these come in a lot of varieties, it’s hard for one to get bored with the taste.

6. Perfect for Lazy people

Noodles are an appropriate meal for lazy people, as noodles do not take much effort, and get prepared in a short time.

Noodles are produced using fixings. However, the setting in which these are created and expanded inside Italy and China, fills the noodles with extraordinary tasty features and characters.

Noodles are a Chinese item but have got popular worldwide. These can be served with gravy or eaten dried.

Chinese Cuisine History

Chinese cuisine is one of the most amazing culinary cultures. Chinese cuisine is a term used for dishes made in various regions of China. With superb technology and unique style, it also has a great history. It has a profused impact on East Asian cultures.

Chinese food came into existence thousands of years ago in East Asia. As different regions have a different style of cooking, Chinese food originates from the various areas of China but does not come from the whole country.

Chinese Cuisine across various dynasties

In Zhou Dynasty, approx. more than 5000 years ago, millet and brown rice, or beans, were the major foods. But these staple foods were not the same as the Chinese have today. At that time, people have had white rice which was very expensive and rarely available.

The famous cuisine in Zhou dynasty was Ba Zheng. In Qin dynasty, they introduced sour flavor which was mainly an odor extracted from fish and meat. They also started using Vinegar and cinnamon powder at that time.

In the Han dynasty, people introduced salty flavor, and a big step was taken for Chinese cooking in the Han dynasty. Many cooking ingredients and imported eatables were also brought, such as walnut, cucumber, lettuce. In the Han dynasty, the Chinese cuisine witnessed a rapid development.

In Tang dynasty, by that period, people already had developed a quality level and had started living their lives fancily.

In Song dynasty, schools of cuisines like South, Chuan or North came into existence. In Qing, Yuan, and Ming dynasty, it was a significant development stage, as the foreign intrusions came up with hundreds of fresh cuisines. Islamic followers moved to China and made Halal as a new way of treating meats.

This Qing dynasty was ruled by Manchu people; so in Chinese cuisine, the influence of all Manchu styles and flavors came into the picture. As Ming dynasty was also there, so they bought plants of chili and pepper in China and named the plant as a fancy flower.

Chinese people didn’t take much enthusiasm in knowing its value. In Sichuan and Hunan, the flavor of spice became popular in no time and left its profound effect. With time, there were Chinese cuisine schools. Some western cuisines were also introduced by late Qing dynasty.

The Major transformation in Chinese Food

Since China converted into communist in 1949, there were many problems with grain. Later with time, almost 40% were handed over to the Government, and this handing over became a major reason in causing widespread famine.

Since 1979, with the founding of the People’s Republic of China, excellent results have been gained by Chinese cuisine. In the list of restaurants, traditional cuisines started showing up and with time, more variety of cuisines have been added to the list.

After the 1990s, there have been tremendous improvements in terms of the food situation; also, the Islamic food of Chinese has also been enhanced.

For its color, design, flavor, and fragrance, Chinese cuisine has become famous worldwide. The wide assortment of famous cuisines includes Lu, Huaiyang, Chuan and Cantonese. To wrap in a line, for the worldwide foodies, Chinese food is a lot more than just dim sums and fried rice!

How To Order Food In Restaurants In China

Are you a huge fan of Kung-Fu movies and Chinese cuisine?

Well, a trip to China is bound to be fulfilling for you, both for experiencing the East Asia culture up close and for tucking into incredible Chinese dishes! And the best way to experience both of these elements is by visiting the local Chinese restaurants.

To help you cherish the real cultural exposure, here is how you can order food in China restaurants.

Ordering the food

After the customary Chinese tea is served on arrival, you will be handed the menu or 菜单 (caidan / (pronounced) tseye-dan).

One common catch-word that you can memorize is “I want” i.e. 我要 – wǒ yào.

For instance, if you want a plate of rice, then you have to say “I would like to order for rice” i.e.

我想订购米饭 – Wǒ xiǎng dìnggòu mǐfàn.

Or if you don’t want MSG or Ajinomoto in your food, you can specify that too by saying –

我不想要味精 – Wǒ bùxiǎng yào wèijīng.

Now, what if you are a vegan?

If you love to experiment, then you can go ahead and taste exciting Chinese cuisine that includes almost everything that can move. But that does not mean that vegans and vegetarians are in danger!

If you are a strict vegan, all you need to do is just specify that you don’t want meat in your food, simple.

And you do that by saying 我不想要肉 – Wǒ bùxiǎng yào ròu.

If you want fries, ask for 薯条 – shǔ tiáo.

And to order for a Coke, just say 可乐 – kě lè.

Asking for the bill

After finishing your food, you simply need to call out to your waiter by asking for the bill – 请带上账单 – Qǐng dài shàng zhàngdān.

A culture tip

Remember to always avoid 4 or 7 dishes while placing an order. In Chinese Culture, these numbers are related to death and superstitions, so these are seldom used.

Ordering food in restaurants in China is overall simple, so you can look forward to a gastronomically enriching trip there.

Main Spices and Herbs Used in Chinese Cuisine

Chinese spices and herbs are mostly used in a small amount to make the recipes better, produce a subtle flavor, depth, and also a different kick which you might not get from anything else.

Let us see which are the spices and herbs that make the Chinese cuisines relishing

Ginger

Ginger is the most common ingredient, which is easily available in the market. It’s always recommended to make use of only fresh ginger as it gives a great flavor and aroma which makes the Chinese dishes mouthwatering. It is an indispensable spice, which can add heat and great flavor to vegetables, soup, and meat.

Five-Spice Powder

This five-spice powder comprises the ingredients including cassia, fennel seeds, anise pepper, star anise, and cloves. The mix of these separate spices is aromatic and also, not too hot. Well, you can also try to make a usable powder, by using equal quantities of each of these; however, in Chinese cuisines, these are also used in a different amount, according to the dish they want to prepare.

Cassia Bark

Also known as cinnamon, this spice is from Sri Lanka. These rolled-up quills are lovely and have a great flavor which lasts longer. They are mostly in large pieces and can also be picked out of the food easily. Cassia bark is usually used for sweet dishes but gives a completely different aroma to Chinese cuisines.

Cassia Bark

Bay Leaf

It is a spice which is very popular in making Chinese cuisines. Chinese people mostly use a bay leaf in cooking meat as bay leaf gets rid of the odor when used in meat. Few people also like using bay leaves in Chinese pickled vegetables.

Chinese spice bay leaf

Chenpi

This is the favorite spice of many people, which is used in making Chinese dishes. It is a sun-dried tangerine peel. Chenpi provides the food a citrus flavor and gives a punch to it by making the food taste even more interesting and refreshing.

For Western people, these spices can bring a new taste to the kitchen. Try these in your kitchen, to feel the difference in your local and Chinese dishes.

Chenpi Chinese spicy

Chinese Cuisine Tools and Equipment

Isn’t it really intriguing, how easily the Chinese folks prepare such lip-smacking food?

How they stir up magic in minutes with all those different pieces of utensils, is really worth watching. And if you have always wanted to know what makes it so easy breezy for them, then here are the most useful Chinese cuisine equipment.

The Wok

Generally made of heavy iron or steel, the wok or chǎoguō/chaoww-gwor is perhaps the most important piece of a utensil. It is widely used in every Chinese household and restaurant. The shape and the size of the wok are chosen as per the dish that is prepared.

Click the picture for more details.

A Ladle

Ladles can be made out of different metals and materials, even bamboo. It is essential for transferring stew or soups from a wok to bowls.

Click the picture for more details.

Wok Shovel

Remember the delicious Chinese stir-fried dishes? Well, those are cooked in the wok using a wok shovel.

It is another really important piece of utensil in Chinese kitchens.

Click the picture for more details.

A Cleaver

Usually manufactured from high carbon and stainless steel, a Chinese cleaver is used by the chefs to slice and dice different food items. Cleavers are specially designed to chop meat.

Click the picture for more details.

Rice Cooker

Since rice is a very popular staple in China, every household there has rice cookers. These electrically operated utensils are very heat efficient and can also be used to prepare porridge, stewing meat, heating foods.

Click the picture for more details.

Steaming Basket

Steaming baskets are perfect for preparing all the non-fried dishes. Whether it is for steaming dumplings, pancakes, fish, meat or vegetables, these steaming baskets are of great utility. These are either made out of bamboo or from metals.

Click the picture for more details.

Chopping Board

And, last but not least, Chinese chefs cannot make do without chopping boards. These not only protect the kitchen counter-tops while they chop and cut ingredients but also help to maintain hygiene and swiftness of cooking.


Click the picture for more details.

 

Chinese New Year Overview

Chinese New Year—often termed as Lunar New Year—is considered as one of the most important vacations for Chinese people.

Chinese Year, unlike the beginning of a New Year devised on the basis of Gregorian Calendar, signifies the beginning of a New Year in the traditional Chinese calendar.

According to the Chinese calendar which dates back to over 4,000 years, the fourth edition marks the Year of the Pig. A bit about the arrival of the Chinese New Year falls the commencing of the crop cycle, which signals the completion of the winter and a signal to welcome a new season.

Compared to the Gregorian Calendar which works on the principles of the solar calendar, Chinese New Year takes traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar into account, whose dates symbolize both the time of the solar year as well as the phase of the moon.

The dates of the two calendars vary as Lunar months falls short by two days with respect to the magnitude of Solar month. To close the gap between the two calendars, at every few years, a month is added to the Chinese calendar.

Because the Chinese New Year depends on lunar calculation, there has been designated no fixed value for the inauguration of a fresh start, i.e., the New Year, but it mostly falls between 21 January and 20 February.

The Chinese New Year represents the moving away from the previous year and stepping in the new lunar year, with doing good in health, prosperity, happiness, and fortune.

It’s a time that the entire nation collectively celebrates with a notion to catch up with the ups and downs of family members, celebrate fireworks, share gifts, and enjoy good food.

Chinese new year celebration
Chinese New Year celebration

Chinese New Year signifies breaking those chains associated with the old year that held one back and open the window of freshness to welcome good fortune and a ton load of luck.

With Chinese diaspora presence across the globe, the Chinese New Year is celebrated not just in Asia but all over the world.

According to the Chinese Zodiac, which consists of 12 animal signs, each new year tallies with one of those 12 animals. The 2019 Chinese New Year is the Year of the Pig and will continue for 15 consecutive days—out of this period, the initial two or three days of the festival are granted as a public vacation in China and differs from country to country in the different parts of the world.

Chinese New Year zodiac
Chinese New Year zodiac (credit: Jakub Hałun)

How long is Chinese New Year? A complete day-by-day decode of 15-day Chinese New Year Activities

Chinese New Year – Day One (New Year’s Eve)

Activities

  • Celebrating the Beginning of the Year
  • Welcoming guests with sweet treats and tea
  • Eat Dumplings
  • Reunion Dinner
  • Set off Fireworks and Firecrackers
  • Distribute Red Envelopes
  • Stick Spring Festival Couplets
Chinese new year food
Dumplings for the Chinese New Year dinner

Message

The first day fills the Chinese people with a sense of a new start and dumping the old ones. It brings a message of hope refreshment, wealth increment, happiness, and prosperity.

Chinese New Year – Day Two

Activities

  • Visit the wife’s family
  • Eat wonton
  • Pray to the ancestors and gods
praying to the ancestors
2nd Day, praying to the ancestors

Message

For married men, this day is devoted to visiting and meeting the married women’s parents. Married women visit their birth parents to pay respect and distribute gifts.

Chinese New Year – Day Three

Activities

  • Stay at home
  • Relaxing

Message

On the third day of the New Year, Chinese people avoid moving out. They believe in the ideology that the third day is generally an unlucky day, and it gives rise to quarrels and disputes, so they avoid meeting outsiders such as relatives and friends.

This is superstitious though. In fact, after a busy two-day celebration, they like to relax and prepare for the next day adventures.

Day Four

Activities

  • Worship the Gods
  • Big dinner preparation

Message

This is a day believed to be as when Gods of food and wealth descend from heaven to visit earth. Especially for entrepreneurs, this day is of prime importance as they try to impress and win favor with the Gods.

Chinese gods
Pray to the gods

On this day, people prepare for a big feast and the main dishes are three types of meat—fish, pork, and chicken—along with fruits and alcohol.

Day Five

Activities

  • Break Taboos
  • The celebration of the birthday of the God of wealth
  • Cleaning, sweeping and emptying the trash
  • Eat Dumplings

Message

On this day, breaking the taboos, people clean the shreds of firecrackers-produced red papers and empty the trash. It’s the day on which they celebrate the birthday of the God of wealth. To welcome this God, people open the windows and doors shortly after midnight.

Day six

Activities

  • Discard all the rubbishes present in the house
  • Say goodbye to the ghost of poverty
  • Throw away old clothes and stuff

Message

After welcoming the wealth of God, on the sixth day, people clean their houses and discard all old clothes and stuff that are no longer functioning and only occupying space. They clean all areas of the house, including garage and storerooms.

Day Seven

Activities

  • Birthday of Human
  • Eat longevity noodles
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Go back to work

Message

On the seventh day, people celebrate the birthday of the human. They commemorate Nu Wa who is considered having separated earth from the heaven and the creator of the humans, using yellow clay. They prepare seven types of vegetables and rice to make porridge, to celebrate the birthday of humans.

Chines New Year gods
Nu Wa, Chinese creator goddess

Day Eight

Activities

  • Celebrate the birthday of rice

Message

Chinese people find it important to share with their children that from where most their food comes. So, they visit the nearby farms and fields with their children, to educate them about the significance of rice, the staple food of China.

Chinese people find it important to share with their children that from where most their food comes. So, they visit the nearby farms and fields with their children, to educate them about the significance of rice, the staple food of China.

Day Nine

Activities

  • The celebration of the day of Jade Emperor

Message

They sacrifice a chicken in the honor of Jade Emperor. Feasting and offerings are also done.

Chinese new year habit
Jade Emperor

Day Ten to Twelve

Day ten through twelve is not of paramount importance for the Chinese people, so they do the regular activities like meeting friends and relatives, more feasts, drinking, and celebrations.

Day Thirteen and Fourteen

Since the commencement of the New Year celebration, they all keep eating heavy food, so, on these two days, they try to balance their diet and prepare veg foods like rice and vegetables.

Trying to get less of the heavy food…

Also, as the lantern day is anytime soon now, so they spend most of the time shopping for the lantern day and ingredients for tang yuan. Once the shopping gets over, the Chinese people prepare lanterns and make tang yuan.

Day Fifteen

Activities

  • Celebrate the lantern festival
  • First full moon day; marks the end of the New Year celebration
  • Eating sweet dumplings
  • Fireworks

Message

The fifteenth day is celebrated as the lantern festival. Sky gets loaded with colorful lanterns. Everything gets normal after this day. Some people still enjoy this day as Chinese valentine’s day. The spirit of the lantern festival is to assimilate and appreciate the full moon which symbolizes reunion and happiness.

Chinese new year Lantern festival
Lantern festival in Singapore

Chinese New Year Greetings

The Chinese New Year fills the Chinese people with a lot of happiness and joy, and same they reflect such embedded respect and good wishes in a variety of greetings. Acquainting yourself with these greetings empower you with a sense of feeling to express in case you run into a Chinese person and surprise them with your knowledge of their culture.

Like they follow in India, Chinese, too, practice the two versions of ‘you’—one to greet the youngsters and second to greet the elders. With elders, to show respect, Nín is used and, in the case of youngsters, nǐ is used.

祝您……           Zhu nín…          Wish you (Older/Respected)

祝你……                     Zhu nǐ …                     Wish you (Younger/Informal)

Chinese Character PinYin Romanization English
新年好 Xīnnián hǎo Happy New Year
猪年大吉 Zhū nián dàjí Wish you luck in the year of the Pig
过年好 Guònián hǎo Happy New Year
恭贺新禧 Gōnghè xīnxǐ Happy New Year
新年快乐 Xīnnián kuàilè Happy New Year
大吉大利 Dàjí dàlì Lots of luck and Profit
心想事成 Xīnxiǎng shì chéng May all your wishes come true
吉星高照 Jíxīng gāozhào Fortune will smile on you
吉祥如意 jíxiáng rúyì Good Fortune according to your wishes
春节快乐 Chūnjié kuàilè Happy Spring Festival
新春快乐 Xīnchūn kuàilè Happy New Spring
恭喜发财 Gōngxǐ fācái May you be happy and prosperous
恭贺新禧,祝身体健康、事业发达。 Gōnghè xīnxǐ, zhù shēntǐ jiànkāng, shìyè fādá. Happy New Year. I wish you good health and lasting prosperity

Greetings for the entire family (especially when you’re addressing a family gathering)

阖家欢乐 Héjiā huānlè The cheerfulness of the whole family
阖家幸福 Héjiā xìngfú Well being of the whole family

Greetings for Business and at work

恭喜发财 Gōngxǐ fācái Happiness and Prosperity
事业有成 Shìyè yǒuchéng Success in your career
升官发财 Shēngguān fācái Win promotion and get rich
平步青云 Píngbù qīngyún Have a grand rise
工作顺利 Gōngzuò shùnlì May your work go smoothly

Chinese New Year Decorations: Traditional and Modern

As the Chinese New Year approaches, people begin to experiment with a lot of decorative materials, like Fu character pictures, Spring Festival couplets, and paper cuttings.

Usually, they start shopping and decorating their houses, streets, and office spaces about one week before. As the New Year comes closer, the walls (interior and exterior) and the doors get jeweled with the modernized forms of adornment materials.

Chinese new year decoration
Chinese new year decoration

Chinese people like red color for the New Year celebration and decoration, so they craft and shop everything red so that the entire surrounding get bathed in the hue of red.

Upside Down Fu characters

The Fu character stands for blessing and good fortune in Chinese. People stick it on or over the walls, with the character reading upside down on the door or window.

Doing so they believe, the inversion bestows the Fu character a ‘Dao’ meaning which pronounces the same as “coming” in Chinese. Chinese relate the inverted character’s meaning with the coming of the fortune, or the “pouring out” the “good fortune” on them.

Chinese Fu Character
For good luck

So, when a visitor or the family member passes through the door, it implies that the good fortune rains over them.

Paper Cuttings

Reflecting expertize in folk art, Chinese people, customarily, cut out distinct designs of paper, using scissors and cutting knife.

These paper cuttings hang behind or stick on a transparent surface, like a glass window or glass door.  Paper cuttings symbolize good wishes for the year ahead.

Most people try to morph papers into the shape of the animal that represents a specific year, and some adhere to designing the shape of Fu, Shou, Lu, and Xi, which respectively stands for luck, long-life, wealth, and happiness. The paper can be of any color, but most people prefer the red ones.

Chinese Red Lanterns

Representing a traditional folk handicraft, the bright red lanterns signify the Chinese culture and has established a special place in the Chinese festivals, especially during the Chinese New Year.

Chines new year decoration
Red Lanterns, the most typical Chinese decoration

As the New Year comes to a close, red lanterns are hung in market streets, temples, shops, parks, and households. For its reunion meaning which Chinese people have devised, red lanterns play a vital role in adding a spark to the celebrations.

Although it comes in an array of shapes, sizes, and colors, the red color sells the most during the New Year celebration time.

Chinese Knot

Chinese knot shares a long history with China. In ancient China, it was merely a thing of recording, which gradually evolved to become a thing of accessories and decorations.

Chinese New Year Decoration
Chines Knots (credit: ProjectManhattan)

They are now a widely used element for decoration which people mostly use in the interiors, and share in the form of gifts with friends and relatives.

It’s formed of a single long rope which goes through many knot formation to take the form of a complicated shape, like petals and droopy pendants.

Knots come in various shapes, with a different set of meanings associated with each of them. These are taken as a thing of luck and that’s why it’s extensively used to beautify the houses at New Year.

Chinese New Year Animals Meaning

2019 is the Year of the Pig, but what actually that means?

For Chinese people, it may be a thing of the norm but for the people not of Chinese origin, the association of an animal with a year definitely rings no bell. So, here is the explanation.

The Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the lunar cycle, consists of 12 years. Each year of the lunar calendar is named after an animal which could be any of the 12 animals.

Like 2018 was the year of Earth Dog, which started from Feb 16, 2018, and will last until Feb 04, 2019; the New Year (2019) that will take over the previous one will be called the year of the Earth Pig and will span from Feb 5, 2019, until Jan 24, 2020.

Every animal signifies specific traits, and it closely associates with the personalities of the people by the years in which they were born.

Chinese year of the pig
Year of the pig

The symbols, in the form of animals, repeat itself in the following order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

After the completion of one Zodiac cycle, the animals will repeat its meaning for the year the cycle will match up with. Compared to the Western astrology, in which the month of the birth decides the fortune of a person, the Chinese zodiac sign depends on the year in which a person takes birth.

As legends wrap it in the form of a story, one day Buddha called for an animal meeting. To which some disobeyed and unheard the Buddha and some made their attendance for a great celebration.

Those 12 animals which came to the gathering, received honor from Buddha, who named one year of the calendar for each of the animals.

Below is a comprehensive list of all 12 Chinese Zodiac signs, to which year they relate, and what each animal indicates?

Pig

People who are born in the year of Pig, have honorable, determined, sociable, and sincere personality traits. On the flip side of the coin, they’re also lazy and clumsy. They like to have less but bonafide friends. Sheep and Rabbit go well with Pig.

Year: 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031

Element: Water

Rooster

The people born in the Year of the Rooster are taken as honest, independent, confident, punctual, flexible, and energetic. Their partnership lasts long with Snake and Ox.

Chinese year of the rooster
Rooster: independent, confident, punctual, flexible

Years: 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029

Element: Metal

Dog

They’re helpful, loyal, courageous, lively, adaptable, and honest. People born in the Dog year share a long-lasting relationship with those born in the year of Tiger and Horse.

Years: 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030

Element: Earth

Goat (Sheep)

People born in the year of the sheep are considered tasteful, kind, crafty, caring, sensitive, and polite. They partner well with Boar and Rabbit.

Element: Earth

Years: 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027

Monkey

People born in the year of Monkey share an intelligent and witty personality trait, including lucky, smart, charming, and versatile. Their partnership goes long-lasting with Dragon and Rat.

Years: 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028

Element: Metal

Snake

Snakes keep their matters private and are known to be ambitious, intelligent, attentive, decisive, organized, and philosophical. Roosters and Ox fit great with Snake.

Years: 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025

Element: Fire

Rabbit

Rabbits are known to be impulsive, modest, sociable, sensitive, emphatic, and sincere. They don’t do good with meditation. Rabbits fit best with Sheep and Boar.

Years: 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023, 2035

Element: Wood

Tiger

Tigers are known to be as courageous, ambitious, confident, charismatic, and enthusiastic. They’re highly unpredictable and can’t be easily distracted from their decided course of action. Tigers fit great with Horse and Dog.

Years: 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022, 2034

Element: Wood

Rat

The Rat is adaptable, artistic, resourceful, sociable, charming, and intelligent. They’re packed with a curious brain which pushes them always to do something different than the mass. They partner well with Dragon and Monkey.

Years: 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020, 2032

Element: Water

Ox

Oxen are well-tuned with their work and they’re known for personality traits like strong-built, steady, determined, loyal, reliable, and they think carefully before initiating any action. They’ve been known to have going well with Snake and Rooster.

Years: 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021, 2033

Element: Earth

Horse

Horses run great with Dog and Tiger. They’re loyal, courageous, intelligent, popular, and adventurous.

Years: 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026

Element: Fire

Dragon

Dragons are taken as imaginative, artistic, charismatic, smart, confident, and eccentric. They’re dominant and have a bad temper. Rat and Monkey go well with Dragon.

Years: 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024

Element: Earth

5 Cool Chinese New Year Facts

A whopping one-sixth of the world’s population celebrates it

Many regions outside mainstream China find their interest in joining the Chinese New Year celebration. The celebration is also seen in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippians, Mauritius, and many countries in North America and Europe.

Sprouting out of the Chinatowns, Chinese New Year has joined the club ‘Most Celebrated Festivals.’

It ushers in the largest human migration around the world

Chinese take the important aspect of the Chinese New Year celebration, which is a reunion every new year, very seriously. To meet their dears they return from all corners of the world to their homeland.

Since most youngsters fancy to stay in the developed urban areas, they migrate internally to catch up their parents, causing the largest internal migration on earth.

Every year coincides with a Zodiac Animal

Each lunar cycle spans 60 years and its one-fifth division, i.e., 12 years, is considered as a small cycle which, furthermore, is designated an animal sign out of Dragon, Snake, Tiger, Dog, Monkey, Ox, Horse, Sheep, Rooster, and Pig.

According to Chinese mythology, these signs play a pivotal role in deciding the health status, business performance, and relationship success of an individual.

The color red is used in bulk

According to the old stories, Chinese people believed that the red color keeps the evil spirits at bay and contributes to happiness, wealth, and prosperity.

Exercising their long-running tradition, they decorate their houses with red lanterns and red paper cuttings, along with sticking the red paper onto doors and windows. They get dressed in red outfits and lit up the streets by red lanterns.

And…last but not the least

It’s a day devoted to god prayings

In the old days, Spring Festival originally marked the beginning of crop cycles, so people, with the hope of having a good planting and harvesting season, used to pray Gods.

Depicting their ancestors as a messenger returned to the land of God, they also practiced worshipping their forefathers.

Chinese New Year Traditions Food

Chinese take huge pride in the family gathering and that, too, at the occasion of New Year Eve reunion dinner when it’s of sheer importance to have mandatory attendance.

The presence is taken such passionately that if a family member truly can’t attend the dinner eve, a spare set of plate, besides the existing family members, is placed on the dinner table, to notify their absence is being missed.

A myth goes by the monster named Nian, mentioned hereinbefore, who would terrorize the villagers every year and people would hide in a safe shelter, prepare a feast, and pray for their safety.

Arising out of those myths and some commonly shared trend, foods have found a special place in the New Year celebration, as the major dishes which are produced on the evening dinner is now seen as associated with the good health, wellbeing, promotions, hike in salaries, and growth in business.

These are called to hail luck and good fortune for the Chinese people and are majorly eaten during the 16-day festival season of the CNY. It’s not only the dishes matter but also the method of preparation, ways of serving, and eating them mean a lot for Chinese people.

The most important foods for Chinese New Year Eve are dumplings, niangao, steamed chicken and fish, spring rolls, dumplings, and noodles.

Niangao Chinese new year cake
Niangao Chinese new year cake (credit: Skjackey tse)

Steamed Fish

Steamed fish is one of the most important New Year Eve Chinese recipes. Chinese translate fish as Yu (鱼) which sounds (to them) like a word for excess and in their interpretation, having fish on the dinner table signifies increment in wealth to them in the next year.

Chinese new year food
One of the Steamed Fish variations

Unlike other cuisines, they usually prefer to either steam or deep fry the fish first and then, they would top the fish with a sweet and sour sauce. The entire fish represents a harmonious family.

Once the fish gets prepared for the dinner, the first half of it is served on the eve dinner and the second half is reserved for the next day. Doing this, they believe, prolong the surplus and create a prosperous future. The top fishes are Crucian Carp, Chinese Mud Carp, and Catfish, among many.

Dumplings

Dumplings have secured a place in the classic Chinese food for over 1,800 years and are a traditional dish served on the eve of Chinese New Year.

Dumplings represent gold ingots and for this reason, they’re common to most Chinese households during the CNY season. The unique design of the dumplings speaks for their place in Chinese cuisine as they believe, eating this would help them generate more wealth and prosperity in the coming year.

Chinese new year dish
Dumpling, the classic Chinese dish

What’s filled inside the dumplings and how much one single person consumes, decide the magnitude of rewards one wants to seize, according to the legends.

The filling generally consists of finely chopped vegetables, minced pork, ground chicken, beef, and diced shrimp. As per taste choice of an individual, dumplings can either be fried, steamed, baked, or boiled.

Spring Roll

Spring rolls are traditionally accepted Chinese New Year food. Spring roll, which is really an egg roll, has got its name devised from the spring festival.

It’s most popular in East and Southern China. Shaped cylindrical, spring roll is a dim sum dish which consists of a thin dough wrapper stuffed with vegetables, meat, or sweet.

Chines new year dish Spring Rolls
Spring rolls, so tasty

Chinese people find any excuse to gulp one or two dumplings and prefer to eat it as an appetizer, dinner dish, or snack. Chinese deep fry the stuffed cylindrical roll until it turns golden.

Besides deep frying, in some parts of China, steaming or baking is favored as well. Mostly it’s found in the cylindrical shape, but some people don’t fall by the norm side and give the spring roll a small rectangle or large flat circular shape.

Longevity Noodles

Also known as long noodles and Changshou Mian, longevity noodles represent lengthened lifeline and good health, so Chinese people include it in their New Year Menu as a symbol of good luck.

They’re over two feet longer than normal noodles and are served uncut. The purpose is not to look for 2-feet size but to find as long as you could, because longer the noodle, the better.

Breaking of noodles while cooking is taken as a bad omen associated with shortening someone’s life, so extra precaution is maintained to keep the length intact. It’s usually served either boiled or fried, with a variety of seafood to enhance the taste.

Sweet Rice Balls

Tangyuan, or sweet rice balls, is mostly eaten on the 15th and the 16th day of the Spring Festival. The rice balls contain sweet filling and are boiled in water for cooking. It is also called soup spheres as the sweet rice balls are dipped in sweet syrup or broth before eating.

Chinese new year dish
Sweet rice balls, not the most common version

Its Chinese name (汤圆) sounds like a reunion and for this reason, behind the making of sweet rice balls, there is a message that the circular shape of the rice balls represents the completion and unity of the family. For its hot characteristics, it’s usually prepared and enjoyed in the winter season.

Firework: why is it ban now?

The inception of the Chinese New Year celebration sparks off from the bravery saga of a boy who used to keep a monster, which would appear somehow at the eve of every new year, at bay, using the fireworks.

Next day, people enjoying their safety and survival would set off more fireworks. And from there, the trend repeated year by year. Since China leads the world in terms of population, one can imagine why a record high fireworks are set off on the eve of every new year.

But…the firework is partially banned now. Facing the fierce challenges associated with the incremental pollution hazards, the Chinese government has put a ban on fireworks.

Beijing has had fireworks banned for 13 years, but the anger of citizens brought the government to back foot and so, the ban was lifted in 2006. Around 500 minor to major cities have still got fireworks restrictions.

The firecrackers are infamous for producing noise nuisance and a sheet of red paper shreds all around the houses; however, Chinese people find joy in setting off the firecrackers and take it in their stride, without complaining about the air pollution.

This tradition is shared all over the country and because of distinct beliefs, the timing of setting off firecrackers differs from region to region.

  • As the New Year hits the clock, people welcome its arrival with a cacophony of fireworks and firecrackers, all around. There you won’t find a mini second for which the sound of car alarms and vibrations in the sky-high buildings would go off.
  • Before New Year’s Eve dinner: Chinese celebrate the New Year in their own style. When the reunion dinner gets ready, all family members gather up to lit the firecrackers, as they believe doing so sparks off an invitation to their ancestors, to celebrate the moment of happiness together.
  • At midnight as the New Year arrives: Traditionally, at the completion of reunion dinner, Chinese people stay up until midnight to set off firecrackers at the stroke of midnight. Doing this fills them with confidence that evil spirits won’t cause problems to them for this year.
  • New Year’s Day morning: Following their centuries-old tradition, Chinese people set off firecrackers before stepping out, as they take it as a thing of good luck. People avoid sweeping away the red shreds of firecrackers compiled all around, believing that sweeping this would also sweep their wealth away.

Travel Tips During CNY

Luckily, there is a relief that can soothe your exponentially rising curiosity. Chinese New Year, apart from creating hype of collective entropy by the Chinese celebration, don’t stand in the path of travelers, generally.

The entire chain of businesses run intact and only a few temporarily pull out their contribution, for moving out of the city to meet their near and dear ones. The major institutions hold their position and run dry for only selected periods on which the celebration mood is at the peak.

So, what is it like to step into a pond that’s severely tremored by the shake of its own constituting particles? Simply putting, to what magnitude could, and would, travel during the Chinese New Year affects your spontaneous or a well-planned itinerary?

The answer is not something anybody would be ready to rumble. But, if there come the preparations that this guide helps you walk through, your travel would definitely be a piece of cake.

Is it possible to travel in China during Chinese New Year?

Yes, indeed, but brace yourself with a potential thought set up to bear the hiked fares and overcrowded transportations. Chinese move from their place of work to hometowns once a year.

The crowd that accumulates as a result of international and internal migration, depicts an exodus that overwhelms the first-time visitors. The terminals and the railway stations get flooded with people heading home to meet their elderly parents, eat dumplings, and celebrate.

How difficult is it to book tickets?

A wise man would begin making travel bookings at about sixty days before the Chinese New Year booking madness takes on the whole of China by storm.

Of course, the rates would severely multiply and you can’t complain about it. The top hotels get booked way before the blink of an eye, so it’s obvious to not let go of a single opportunity that you get by chance.

It’s ideal to make bookings two to four months ahead, so as not to get yourself trapped in the human jungle everywhere. For the last-minute travel bookings, it’s hard to acquire those precious arrangements as those come with its own monopoly of premium paying.

Train yourself to be tolerant and fall by the lively spirit side

The problems with traveling are obvious but when you’re visiting China during CNY, you should have elevated patience and a cheerful spirit bundled within you, to not give the fellow travelers a hiccup or some weird look. On the flip side, being more cheerful and patient, you can have fun even if you’re stuck in a crowd, or in an unexpectedly packed train tour.

You know some extrovert guys who don’t see ‘you and I’ and jump into a conversation without an intention to unearth the in-depth details. All they do so to not let the drawbacks of travel tiresome dominate them.

You can roll the same sort of dices to keep yourself up and motivated. If this strategy doesn’t amuse you, there are saunas all over in big cities of China where you can get a relaxing massage, to relieve the stress.

Where to find an authentic view of fireworks?

This is common to all places and you won’t have to move to a specific place to witness fireworks. In fact, it will be best to have a stay in a hotel with a big glass window through which you can get a wide visual.

Is it cold during the Chinese New Year?

Yes. Some parts of China face extreme cold and rain during the CNY time. It would be great to have some warm clothes and put a blanket in the luggage bag, to combat the teeth-shivering temperature as you move from one region to another.

Also, some parts of China face unexpected rain during this season, so having an umbrella won’t attract eyes.

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