(Yicai Global) Feb. 14 -- A fifth of the world’s population will celebrate the eve of the Lunar New Year tomorrow.Chinese people and those descended from China’s diaspora from Northeast Asia to East Asia and Southeast Asia, from Oceania to Africa, Europe and the Americas, will post traditional couplets, pay homage to their ancestors, set off fireworks and toast the incoming year.
Now global in their extent, these festivities encapsulate and narrate the experience of Chinese immigrants throughout the world over the past five hundred years. The lure of trade, a barren homeland and wars drove legions to depart by sea.
As globalization has accelerated in recent decades, millions more have followed in the wake of those early pioneers, upping sticks and moving to places all over the planet. As people migrated away, they took with them not only their traditions and customs, but also their ethics -- regulating their own conduct and affairs, taking care of their families, paying tribute to heaven and cherishing what was theirs -- notions that can, of course, take on new meanings in different eras.
For thousands of years, though traditions have evolved, ethics have stayed the same, even as the Motherland has undergone radical changes. In the New Year, Chinese show gratitude to their ancestors, give blessings to friends and relatives, and make wishes for stability and security. Even though technology has profoundly changed their lives, enabling people to shop online for holiday gifts and return home on planes and high-speed trains, they still hew to the same ethical precepts and espouse the same moral tenets.
China has simultaneously used two calendars for over a hundred years: the Gregorian to keep pace with the rest of the world and the lunar to keep track of its traditions and own culture. Though the practice is just a tiny aspect of China’s vast reform and revolution, it has become a part of everyday life, enabling Chinese to enjoy two ‘new years.’ Though one fell on Jan. 1, people prefer homecomings and family reunions during the Spring Festival to celebrate China’s very own Lunar New Year.
In keeping with tradition, everyone at Yicai Global wishes our global readers, their families and friends a very happy New Year of the Dog. It is our sincere hope that you all enjoy a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.