The Lunar New Year festival is a joint celebration that is celebrated among the Asian countries, partially influenced by China. It is a China-based celebration characterized by various cultural activities that are done to grace the occasion. The Festival begins with the people celebrating the new moon and ends with them celebrating the full moon. The period between the appearance of the new moon and that of the full moon is usually take place after 15 days. This means that the celebrations of the New Lunar Festival take about 15 days before it ends. The central idea of the festival is based on the lifecycle of the moons. The calendar that is used in this case is called the lunar calendar.
The popular culture in China embraces most global cultures right from the economic lifestyles. The Chinese culture is highly popular in Asia, with many countries in most parts of Asia embracing it. The civilization of China is considered to be dominant as it was also one of the earliest cultures in ancient times. Popular culture has its influence in the various philosophies related to traditions of Asia, virtue, the Chinese language, music, dance, and religion, among others. Thus, in Chinese culture, dancing, music, and religion play a part in defining the cultural aspects.
For instance, they mainly believe in supernatural power in religion, and the central faith is Buddhism. There is a belief in life after death or a connection between the dead and the living in this Buddhism. (Wu & Lu pg. 1001) The Chinese religion was directed to worshipping the supreme known as Shang Di, hence they believe in the spiritual world. The Chinese culture has gone a long way to affect what takes place in their annual celebration of the Lunar New Year festival as the popular culture is practiced during the celebration.
An excellent example of a relation of the popular culture to the Lunar New Year event is the belief in the spiritual world’s existence. During festivals, the heads of the house make sacrifices to appease the gods. This was, and it is still a common practice in the Chinese culture, and the festival’s relationship is evident with the activity of rituals being carried out.
Like in popular culture, the leader is the one to offer sacrifices to the gods, which is similar to that in the festival. The reasons for making sacrifices in popular culture were to thank the ancestors or gods and make peace with them while asking favors from them. These are the same reasons why rituals were performed during the Lunar New Year Festival. They are, therefore, both performed by the leaders and to appease the gods and give appreciation. The gods, in this case, include the gods of beds, the gods of good health, the gods of wealth, and the gods of heart. The main aim of the rituals is to create a strong bond with the gods during the beginning of the New Year. Moreover, the ceremony is performed to make sure that the people alive are grateful to the gods for having kept them busy all through that period and giving them wealth enough to see them through the ending year.
Generally, the Chinese tend to have great influence and control over the Lunar New Year. This is majorly because of their power position in the international realm as compared to the other Asian states. On a personal opinion, it is not bad to have china being in control of the festival and their activities.at some point, order becomes a necessity and that is possible only with one group standing up and leading the rest. With its vast experience as a world superpower, it stands a better chance over the other Asian states.
Another widespread culture related to the event or festival is the fortune-telling aspect of practicing religious activities, and information on one’s life would be predicted. This is seen through the eating of specific types of food as well as sweeping the house. Sweeping the house clean was a divine activity in the past in popular culture. When cleaning is done during such a time, it has a significant meaning that holds on to the culture of the Chinese people. Sweeping symbolizes doing away with misfortune that may have fallen the household in that year (Hadi et al., pg. 278-281). By sweeping the house, one removes the troubles or bad luck that may have been accompanied them through the year so that when they usher in the New Year, they are clean from any mistakes and bad lucks.
A dominant culture commands or instead controls the activities that take place. Some of the dominant cultural aspects of the Chinese or the Asian countries include Benevolence which advocates for family ties and blood connections. It is held highly by the Chinese that a united family does prosper. Benevolence is highly practiced during the Lunar New Year festive. The celebration occurs with the reunion of the family members in an activity called a reunion dinner as a custom and practice to grace the festival.
There is also righteousness as a dominant cultural aspect that advocates for justice and corrections if one may be wrong. Thus, when one is on the wrong side, it is better to seek apologies whenever bad. Those who are not on good terms may be free to meet and get along once again as per the requirements of the dominant culture (Jane pg. 23-28). This is related to the activities that are also carried out in the Lunar New Year festival. In the festival, righteousness is seen when friends who may have had a conflict thus did part ways, and they are no longer on good terms. During this period, they also resolve whatever conflicts they may have to start a new life when they are good friends. They have no differences between them as crossing over to a new year with unsolved instances leads to misfortune. There can be power structures that influence or control the events in the Lunar New Year festival.
Suppose there is any power that therefore holds the circumstances. In that case, it can be based on spiritual power and the cultural power where people have faith in what they do which they cover up to ritual and religion altogether. Suppose any ideologies are underlying in informing this event. In that case, the idea is based on a cultural dimension where the people believe that the New Year starts with the cycle of the new moon. My perspective brings me to an analysis that the Lunar New Year does incorporate many things as beliefs from the dominant and popular culture. It is basically like an extension of the modern-day culture, which borrows its principles from the culture used many years ago.
Wu, Jing, Michelle Gamber, and Wenjie Sun. “Does wuhan need to be in lockdown during the Chinese lunar new year?.” (2020): 1002.
Hadi, R. P. S., and M. Budiman. “The Lunar New Year and Guanggunjie tradition: The representation of China in the Lentera broadcast by China Radio International.” Cultural Dynamics in a Globalized World. Routledge, 2017. 279-284.
Parry, Jane. “China coronavirus: cases surge as official admits human to human transmission.” (2020).