Elements of Intangible Cultural Heritage

    Spring Festival






    Introduction:

    The Spring Festival is traditionally celebrated in Macao around the time of the Chinese New Year, with its origin and tradition deeply linked to Chinese history and culture. This is one of Macao’s traditional festivals that has a long-standing history. The celebrations of the Chinese New Year last until the Lantern Festival, which is celebrated on the 15th day of the first lunar month. The Spring Festival is an occasion with various celebratory events taking place, with families and friends visiting each other. These celebrations represent a departure from the “old” and a welcome of the future, in order including offerings to the deities and to the ancestors, expressing the people’s wishes for a prosperous new year. In its most diverse forms, these celebrations join together the essential characteristics of traditional Chinese culture.                                                                                                                                      

     

    Conservation Status:

    The Spring Festival celebrations in Macao mainly originated from Lingnan region.  A series of activities has been maintained until our days, including the thanks to the so-called Kitchen God, family reunion dinners, putting up the so-called fai chun (spring couplets), visiting flower markets on New Year’s Eve, giving lucky money and red envelopes (so-called Lei Si), welcoming the year, staying at home on the 3rd day of the new year  to avoid disputes, paying a new year call and celebrating on the so-called People’s Day. There is also a range of new year typical delicacies that are shared at this time of the year, including candies and cakes. The Spring Festival is a traditional celebration that is  greatly valued by the Macao society. The first three days of the Chinese New Year correspond to public holidays for local residents to celebrate the festival and carry forward traditional customs.

     

    Heritage Value:

    The Spring Festival is an important traditional festival of Macao and a symbol of the transmission and continuity of the traditional Chinese culture in Macao. Its cultural dimensions, profound cultural significance and value as a testimony of the diverse local is also relevant for the study of regional folk culture. Being celebrated especially as an occasion for family reunion and gathering with friends, the Spring Festival plays a crucial role in the local community and is also significant for strengthening social relationships.


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