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Chinese New Years Customs:  Yuan Tan, The Spring Festival, follows a lunar-solar calendar and occurs between mid-January and mid-February. People start preparing for it 22 days before and it lasts 15 days. Houses are cleaned, food is prepared, old clothes are thrown out and debts are settled in preparation. Homes are decorated with red banners, flowers, and good luck scrolls. People who keep a kitchen god smear his lips with honey or offer sticky rice cakes so that sweet remarks will be said when he returns to heaven. On New Year’s Day older people are wished long life, business people success, and young people fine marriages.

  On New Year’s Eve a vegetarian dish made of ginkgo nuts, mushrooms, bean curd, and golden vegetables called Buddha’s feast is served. Wintermelon soup, roast cod or duck, sesame rice balls, and scallops with broccoli may be served. At midnight, drums, firecrackers, paper dragons, noise makers, red ribbons and banners are waved to drive away any evil spirits. (1, 2)

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