Why do People Stay up all Night on Chinese New Year?

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is a time of joy, celebration, and cultural traditions. Among the many customs observed during this auspicious occasion, one stands out as particularly significant: staying up all night, known as "shou sui" (守岁) in Chinese. Now, we'll delve into the reasons why people stay up all night on Chinese New Year and explore the symbolism and significance behind this age-old tradition.

Welcoming the Arrival of the New Year (迎接新年的到来)

Staying up all night on Chinese New Year is believed to be a way of welcoming the arrival of the new year with open arms. As the clock strikes midnight, families gather together to bid farewell to the old year and usher in the new one. By staying awake through the night, people symbolically guard against any misfortune or evil spirits that may try to enter their homes as the old year comes to a close. It's a time for reflection, anticipation, and renewed hope 希望 (xī wàng) for the year ahead.

希望 (xī wàng), noun, hope

Examples:

  1. Her eyes were full of hope as she waited for the exam results.
    她等待考试成绩的时候,眼睛里充满了希望。
    Tā děngdài kǎoshì chéngjī de shíhòu, yǎnjīng lǐ chōngmǎn le xīwàng.
  2. We never lose hope, even in the face of adversity.
    即使面对困境,我们也从不失去希望。
    Jíshǐ miàn duì kùnjìng, wǒmen yě cóng bù shīqù xīwàng.

Reunion and Unity (团圆和团结)

Staying up all night on Chinese New Year is also a time-honored tradition that emphasizes the importance of family reunion and unity. Families come together to share a special midnight feast, known as the "reunion dinner," during which they enjoy delicious food and engage in lively conversations. Staying awake 醒着 (xǐng zhe) together fosters a sense of closeness and togetherness among family members, reinforcing the bonds of love and kinship. It's a time for families to set aside their differences and come together in harmony to celebrate the start of a new chapter.

醒着 (xǐng zhe), adj, awake

Examples:

  1. She is still awake at this late hour.
    她在这个深夜仍然醒着。
    Tā zài zhège shēnyè réngrán xǐng zhe.
  2. The baby remained awake throughout the night.
    宝宝整夜都醒着。
    Bǎobao zhěng yè dōu xǐng zhe.

Cultural Heritage (文化遗产)

The tradition of staying up all night on Chinese New Year is deeply rooted in cultural heritage and superstitions. According to folklore, staying awake throughout the night is believed to bring good luck, longevity, and prosperity in the year ahead. Many people also engage in various activities and rituals during the night to ward off evil spirits and ensure a smooth transition into the new year. From setting off firecrackers to hanging red decorations, these customs are passed down from generation to generation as a way of preserving cultural identity and beliefs.

Key Sentences:

  1. We stayed up all night on Chinese New Year to welcome the arrival of the new year.
    我们在除夕夜守岁,迎接新年的到来。
    Wǒmen zài chúxī yè shǒusuì, yíngjiē xīnnián de dàolái.
  2. My family and I gather together to stay up all night on Chinese New Year.
    我和我的家人团聚在一起,在除夕夜守岁。
    Wǒ hé wǒ de jiārén tuánjù zài yīqǐ, zài chúxī yè shǒusuì.
  3. Staying up all night on Chinese New Year is a traditional practice believed to bring good luck.
    在除夕夜守岁是一种传统习俗,被认为能带来好运。
    Zài chúxī yè shǒusuì shì yī zhǒng chuántǒng xísú, bèi rènwéi néng dài lái hǎoyùn.

Related Articles

 

Sign up for a free trial now!

FAQ / Tips

Before starting any Chinese language course, the teacher will assess your Chinese language proficiency level through a placement test.This helps to determine your current level of understanding and ability in Chinese, and allows the teacher to tailor the course materials and teaching methods to your specific needs and goals. The placement test may include assessments of your reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.Based on the results of the test, the teacher will be able to recommend an appropriate course of study for you.
Our instructors are highly skilled and experienced experts in Chinese language teaching, with proficiency in multiple languages. They hold at least a bachelor's degree in teaching Chinese as a foreign language, and possess extensive teaching experience and knowledge. Through a rigorous selection process and ongoing training, our instructors are equipped to provide students with authentic pronunciation, accurate language usage, and cultural background knowledge, all of which are essential for achieving mastery of the Chinese language.
We offer a referral program that rewards both you and your friend with free classes.To participate, simply refer a friend to our program and once they successfully enroll, both you and your friend will receive free classes.We appreciate your support and look forward to helping you and your friend achieve your language learning goals.
Thank you for choosing Chinese Learning for your language learning needs.If you need to cancel or reschedule a lesson, please do so at least 4 hours ahead of time. To request a cancellation, please send an email to ivy.wang @chineselearning.com or service @chineselearning.com.We appreciate your cooperation and understanding, and we look forward to providing you with the best learning experience possible."
Yes, our website offers courses in both traditional and simplified Chinese characters. You can choose the character set that you want to learn based on your personal preference or learning goals.Our courses are designed to accommodate learners of all levels and backgrounds, so whether you are a beginner or an advanced learner, we have resources that can help you improve your Chinese language skills.
Our teaching methodology is centered around our students and their individual learning objectives.We provide personalized learning plans, innovative and flexible teaching materials and methods, and strive to make learning Chinese a joyful and enjoyable experience.Our approach is designed to engage students and foster a deep understanding of the Chinese language, culture, and customs. We believe that learning should be fun and meaningful, and we work hard to ensure that every student enjoys their Chinese language learning journey with us.