Happy Chinese New Year from Daily Topnotch

 

Chinese New Year celebrations have begun in Malaysia with dragon-shows and lavish festivities. About 7.6 million Chinese living in the country have joined the festival. It is also called Lunar New Year or Spring Festival.

This festival runs for 15 days between 21st January and 20th February on the occasion of Chinese New Year. The New Year is celebrated with new clothes, food and travel. According to Chinese astrology, the New Year is believed to be associated with certain animals. Each year is associated with one of the 12 zodiac animals. These 12 animals are – Rat, Bull, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.

 

A zodiac year returns every 12 years. The New Year rides from one animal to another. The Year of the Rabbit began on January 22, 2023, and lasted until February 9, 2024. The Chinese year 2024 is called the Year of the Dragon. Before that, 2012 was the year of the dragon. Before the start of the festival, the smoke of cleaning their houses falls from house to house. Many houses are given a new coating of red color especially the doors and windows.

 

Chinese homes are filled with red furnishings, red banners with special traditional sayings, sermons and religious sayings or symbols. This festival starts with religious rituals on the first day of New Year and lasts for 15 days. It ends on the evening of the 15th on the day of the lamp-lighting festival.

 

Week-long festivals and dragon-shows are organized in shopping malls in every state of Malaysia, including the capital Kuala Lumpur. The level of celebration in Chinatown area is a bit higher.

 

The Chinese believe that the dragon will bring success and luck in the new year just as the rabbit will carry away all the failures of the previous year. Dragon dance and various exhibitions are held every afternoon and evening in all malls, parks and entertainment centers.

With hands folded and heads bowed, one said to the other, ‘Kong Si Fa Chai’. One wishes each other happiness and prosperity. Although it is Chinese New Year, this New Year is a big festival for all ethnic groups including Malay, Indian Thai, Lao, Japanese, Korean, Javanese. New clothes are bought for the whole family on this festival. Delicious food is cooked at home and money is given to the children with blessings, called ‘Ampay’. It is similar to the Bangladeshi ‘salami’ style.

Chinese Happy New Year 2024

In other countries, only the Chinese celebrate this festival, but in Malaysia, people of all races look forward to the Chinese New Year. New Year means long holidays and big bonuses. As most of the industrial enterprises in Malaysia are owned by the Chinese, although the official New Year holiday is two days, most Chinese keep their businesses closed for one to two weeks. Many organizations also offer bonuses equal to salary.

 

Millions of tons of oranges are imported into Malaysia around New Year. The Chinese give various varieties of oranges as gifts to their employees.

 

The economy of the entire Southeast Asian region has Chinese influence. Hence, this festival is also celebrated by chance. This new year has had a great impact on the customs and culture of all countries. People decorate their residences, workplaces with red lanterns or dragons. Workers in restaurants and entertainment centers wear festive red dresses. The mood of the festival is going on all around. Besides the Chinese, everyone has a merry time during this festival. Expatriate Bangladeshis in Malaysia are not left out from the joy of Chinese New Year

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