Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year, originated from the first rituals of the year in ancient times. Spring Festival activities last about a month from before the Lunar New Year to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first lunar month. Chinese New Year celebrations vary across different regions and cultures.
Spring Festival is a time to bid farewell to the old and usher in the new, and to pray for blessings of nature in the coming year. In transition from winter to spring, a season of renewal, people paste paper-cuts on windows, perform dragon and lion dances, buy flowers, put up lanterns, write spring festival couplets, set off fireworks, see lantern shows, guess lantern riddles, walk on stilts, visit temple fairs, etc., to see off the old year and greet a new beginning, aspiring for bumper harvest and happiness in the new year. The celebration of Spring Festival represents the people’s kind-hearted good wishes.
Spring Festival is a time for harmony and happy reunion of family. Family reunion is a most important part of Chinese New Year celebrations. People return home to stay with their family, making stuffed dumplings and glutinous rice balls, and having the reunion dinner. They join the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, give out red envelopes, have weddings, travel and watch movies and New Year eve galas on TV, basking in the warmth and affection of the family. They also share the joy of the season with friends, neighbors and strangers. All of these activities manifest the concept of harmony, reunion and sharing that Chinese New Year centers on.
In recent years, more and more foreigners staying in China have taken part in Spring Festival festivities while more and more colorful and varied celebrations of Chinese New Year are held overseas where Chinese and local communities celebrate the festival together. Chinese New Year has gradually become a time to share expectations for happiness and peace.
On the occasion of Chinese New Year and with this exhibition, we extend to people all over the world our warm greetings and best wishes for peace and happiness in the new year. May the rich, colorful and joyful Chinese New Year celebrations bring warmth, peace, happiness and hope to more people of the world.