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Little New Year - the beginning of busy for the Chinese New Year

Little New Year is usually regarded as the beginning of busy for the New Year, which means that people begin to prepare New Year's goods, sweep dust, sacrifice Kitchen God, etc., and are ready to spend a good new year, expressing a kind of good wish of people to say goodbye to the old, welcome the new, welcome the good luck. Due to different customs, the days called "Little New Year" are not the same. In modern China, it is widely spread in some places, that is to say, the Little New Year of the official family is the 23rd of the lunar month, the 24th of the lunar month for the common people, and the 25th of the lunar month for the people on the water.

Legend has it that during the Later Han Dynasty, a poor farmer named Yin Zifang was making breakfast one day shortly before the Lunar New Year, when the Kitchen God appeared to him. Although all Yin Zifang had was one yellow goat, he sacrificed it to the Kitchen God. Yin Zifang soon became rich. To show his gratitude, Yin Zifang started sacrificing a yellow goat to the Kitchen God every winter on the day of the divine visitation, rather than during the summer as had been customary. This is the origin of the Kitchen God Festival, or Little New Year.

Customs on Little New Year

Zaotang-Candy for the Kitchen God
Candy made of maltose is offered to the Kitchen God as a sacrifice.
In the end, the candies are actually treats for children.

Replace Paper Effigy of the Kitchen God
Families will replace the old paper effigy of the Kitchen God with a brand new one to show respect to the god who is believed to be protecting the whole family.

Sweeping the Dust
Families will sweep the house and wipe the windows to give their home a thorough cleaning on the day.
The cleaning also symbolizes people's wishes to get rid of the bad luck and unhappiness of the past year, and to welcome the arrival of a new year.

Paper Cut Outs for Window Decoration
Paper cut outs are stuck to windows to jazz up the atmosphere for the festival. The paper cut outs feature subjects such as magpies, peacocks, peonies etc. symbolizing luck, good wishes and happiness.

Hair Cut & Bathing
Based on old traditions, getting a haircut is not recommended during the first month of the lunar year. People usually rush to get their hair cut around Little New Year and take a bath in preparing for ceremonies to worship ancestors and have a refresh start in the New Year.

It is believed that after the 23rd day of the twelfth lunar month, all the gods will go back to Heaven, so there will be no taboos on earth. Couples no longer need to pick a good day to hold wedding ceremony. A "wedding rush" will be seen after Little New Year until the end of the lunar month.

Seven days after Little New Year, the real celebrations for the Lunar New Year's Eve will start.

As time goes, many customs are changing. But the people's yearning for a better life remains unchanged. Our blessings remain unchanged. On the Little New Year, BBN staff extend our most sincere greetings:
May the joy and happiness around you today and always.

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