Maybe you thought as I did that Chinese New Year celebration is one big party, with a lot of food, fireworks, traditional costumes, etc. Actually, it’s not. At least in typical Taiwanese family.

Preparation

Food is already home and people cook it by themselves because they need to do bai-bai. This is pretty simple and complicated religion thing together. I will describe shortly and later I will prepare an article about that. First thing is to cook at least ten dishes and it matters what kinds. Then, you put the warm food to the place where you pray for a while. You leave the food there for fifteen minutes for ancestry. After that, you take the food back to your dining table.

Dinner

Most of the dishes are after this ceremony little bit cold, but this is probably just my problem that I’m used to eating everything warm. Even though food in Taiwan is delicious, these details are caused by culture differences. For example, they don’t have an oven or a microwave at home; cold food is pretty normal here.

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This is a table for 7 people full of delicous food. You can see a fish soup, chicken, pork, shrimps and some vegetable.

During the dinner and after, people talk, have fun and enjoy the times to be together as a family. If you say something about food in Chinese and it’s with a wish to a new year, you will recieve banknote from the father. I think it’s very nice. :)

Gambling

Now is the time for the biggest fun from all this, for red envelopes and gambling, the things everybody is looking forward to. People give each other red envelopes with money and a wish to the New Year. After, this is everything ready to start gambling.

First day of the New Year

A breakfast is according to the tradition without meat, as you can see in the picture is mostly vegetable and rice. Anyway, since it’s healthy, I’m fine with that.

Right after the breakfast, it’s time to go to temples. People like to go to some bigger ones. That means that the main temples are super crowded. That’s the right time for funny game called: “Don’t get lost or burnt”

Holidays

They have a whole week off, so they can play all those games as much as they want. Some people like to spend this time by hiking, cycling and all other sports. Others visit their relatives or they are just relaxing at home.

Visits

The second day of the new year, wives go to visit their parents or other relatives. This tradition makes transportation on that day in Taiwan totally crazy. It’s normal that you will be stuck in some traffic jam. Even the highways are totally clogged.

Visits are starting as a dinner or lunch and after people start to play the games again or just talk. I would never believe how easy it’s to lose that much money by playing cards. But their idea is that since they play as a family, the money is still between them. The second thing is that if somebody wins a lot, that one always shares with others, which is a really nice gesture.

Conclusion

These times remember me the Czech Christmas; all those visits, food, families reunions. It’s great to see that even we have different cultures, we all like the same things; being with other families, enjoying some traditions and relaxing.

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You throw the coin on dragon’s head and wish something. If you hit dragon’s head and the coin stays on the head, you have big chance that the wish will become true.

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