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Realizing my Chinese New Year dream

CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-07-12 08:10
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And then came the crossover moment from the old year into the new one, when, according to Chinese tradition, people are supposed to eat dumplings at midnight to wish for wealth, happiness and prosperity for the new year. This was my favorite part, not because it was a new year ritual but because I love dumplings and eat them almost on a daily basis. And that concluded the busy Spring Festival Eve.

The next morning, I went to a local temple called the Xiangshan Temple with Ms Huang and her family. During the Spring Festival, many Chinese families visit temples to pray for blessings and good fortune for the new year. It is also common to pay respects to ancestors by visiting their graves, cleaning the tombstones, and offering food and incense.

The Chinese New Year is magical, and its magic lies in how it brings a family together with all kinds of traditions, from eating together, watching a show and laughing together, to receiving red envelopes and giving out good wishes, and finally, to entering the new year together.

This Chinese New Year experience has become a highlight of my year as I felt joy, warmth, and excitement. My dearest teacher and her family treated me as their own, which made me feel like I was part of a real family reunion. I'm forever grateful for all the people I've met because of learning Chinese. And I hope all other expat friends can have the opportunity to experience such an unforgettable Chinese New Year as I did.

Aliyeva Almaz is a 20-year-old Azerbaijani woman who has studied Chinese with a passion for almost half her life. She is now a senior student at Shanghai University majoring in accounting and is very much in love with the bustling metropolis.


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