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Spring Festival, Lunar New Year in China
To celebrate Earth’s complete one-year rotation around the sun, people around the world celebrate the new year with fireworks, family, and festivities. One of the most famous of the world’s New Year’s festivals is the Spring Festival in China, where celebrations begin on New Year’s Eve of the lunar New Year and lasts for fifteen days. The lantern festival takes place on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month, and it marks the end of the New Year celebration. The Spring Festival period is also an important holiday for families. People traveling back to their hometowns within China to visit their family make New Year’s one of the world’s largest annual migrations, known as chunyun or spring travel. Family meals are prepared by elders. One mealtime tradition is to place a small item, usually a coin or jujube, into one of the dumplings. If someone gets the coin, it means that person will have good financial luck in the New Year, whereas a jujube would signify romantic luck. The ancient Chinese technology of fireworks was used as a way to scare off evil spirits during the Spring Festival. The tradition continues today as a symbol for a joyful time of year. Learn more about Spring Festival: Learn more about Lantern Festival: Editing: Jackson Harvey [Catalog No. CFV11272; © 2019 Smithsonian Institution]
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1 min 55 sec
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