Some ways of celebrating the Chinese New Year include having a festive family dinner, fireworks displays and the gifting of red envelopes filled with money from adults to children. Red decorations like lanterns and door gods are commonly found adorning peoples' houses during the holiday.
The New Year's Eve dinner serves as a family reunion for the Chinese. Fish and dumplings, which both signify prosperity, are usually served. People typically dine at home instead of going out to a restaurant. The red packets of money are distributed after dinner.
According to Chinese legend, a mythical beast comes out every New Year's Eve to wreak havoc and destruction. People stay up all night shooting off fireworks and lighting bonfires to keep the beast away. The first person to light a firework after midnight is considered to obtain good luck for the new year.
Small Year takes place on either the 23rd or 24th of the last month of the year. Traditionally, this is the day the family's food god goes to heaven to report the behavior and conduct of the family. People bid farewell to the food god by taking down or burning the painting of the food god in the kitchen. On New Year's Day, a new painting of the food god is displayed in the kitchen.