Spring Festival

The oldest and most important festival in China is the Spring Festival, more commonly known in the West as Chinese New Year. Preparations for the New Year festival start during the last few days of the last moon. Houses are thoroughly cleaned, debts repaid, hair cut and new clothes bought. Doors are decorated with vertical scrolls of characters on red paper signifying praise and good fortune; this practice is believed to keep bad fortune far from family and home. In many homes incense is burned, and also in the temples as a mark of respect to ancestors. New Year's Day is often spent visiting neighbours, family and friends