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Festival Custom

The Chinese New Year is popularly known as the Spring Festival because it starts from the beginning of Spring. Its origins are, unfortunately, lost to antiquity and although several theories exist none have been proved, though it is likely to be related to the importance of spring to agriculture. The Spring Festival is an important festival celebrated by all 56 of China's ethnic groups. Not only the Han celebrate Spring Festival, many Chinese ethnic minority groups have their own ways to celebrate this traditional festival. The Li people, who predominantly live in the south of the Hainan Province, gather together for a feast on New Years Eve and sing festival songs. The nest day they go on traditional hunt together and divide the spoils.
Many customs accompany the Spring Festival. Some are still followed today, but others have weakened. Some customs associated with Chinese New Year include sweeping the dust, pasting spring couplets, pasting paper-cuts and "up-sided fu", staying up late on new year's eve, pasting new year prints, putting up red paper to encourage good fortune, setting off fire crackers to scare off bad fortune and evil spirits, having dumplings… Sometimes even a coin is hid inside the dumpling and whoever gets it is supposedly presumed to enjoy the grace of luck in the coming years. Some of the original significance of these practices has of course been lost but they remain important factors to the overall pageant of the festival.

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