Culture Insider: Little New Year
6. Preparations for Spring Festival
File photo shows people do special purchases for the Spring Festival. [Photo by Liu Mingxiang/Asianewsphoto]
People start to stock up necessary provisions for the Spring Festival since the Little New Year. Everything needed to make offerings to the ancestors, entertain guests, and feed the family over the long holiday must be purchased in advance.
Before setting out to the market, a Spring Festival shopping list must be made, including items such as meat, poultry and eggs, fruit and vegetables, rice and flour, cigarettes, alcohol, sugar, and tea, red paper, images of celestial horses and the Kitchen God. Incense and candles, snacks, new calendars, and toys must also be purchased. Not to be forgotten are new clothes for children and firecrackers to welcome in the New Year.
After Spring Festival provisions have been brought home, it's time to make further preparations for the holiday. These preparations may include preparing meat, packing blood sausages, making tofu, steaming New Year's sticky rice cakes, and making fried bread. This must all be done in advance, since no cooking may be done from New Year's Eve until well into the first month of the New Year.