Of the many festivals in China the Spring Festival is the most popular. It starts with the Lunar New Year and takes place late January or early February. This year the Lunar New Year will begin on January 28th. The festival lasts for two weeks and it is during this time that people travel back to their home town to celebrate with family. It is estimated that between 300 and 500 million people travel during this time. For many in China it is the only time of the year that they can all be together as a family. Each day of the Spring Festival is a special celebration. Meat filled dumplings are eaten during this time. The dumplings are a reminder that years ago meat was served just once a year -- during the Spring Festival. Angel, one of my friends in China told me that when she was a girl there was not as much too buy but now they have “yummy food on the feast and candies.” She also told me that the people there “never tire of spending many hours just preparing the feast.” Rebekah, another friend told me that as a young girl she would look forward to Spring Festival because they would buy new clothes for the holiday. Lynn, my Chinese sister, shared with me that Spring Festival is not only a time to be with family but also a time to visit with friends. The Spring Festival has many rich traditions. According to one of these traditions a monster would visit villages this time of year. The monster’s name was Nian (which just happens to be the Chinese word for year). Nian would terrorize the villages until they discovered that it was afraid of the color red and loud noise. So today people place red posters on their doors and set off fireworks during the Spring Festival. Angel told me that she doesn’t like the firecrackers. She wrote that, “they are so noisy and it makes the air more worse.”
My Christian brothers and sisters in China told me that during the Spring Festival they witness and share the Gospel Message with their families. Rebekah told me that when she is with her family she tells Bible stories to her nieces. Please pray for those traveling during this holiday and also pray that they will bring their families to Christ.