Although different regions in China have different traditions, 正月初二 (zhēng yuè chū èr – the second day of the New Year) is widely accepted as the day for the married daughters to come back home and visit their parents (in some places, it is the third day of the New Year.) In traditional Chinese culture, married women are supposed to live with their husbands and parents-in-law. Although more and more young people now live on their own, they still keep the tradition of spending New Year’s Eve and New Year's Day with the husband’s family and spending the second day with the wife’s family.
Since in the old days, daughters could rarely visit their parents’ after getting married, the day they could visit was considered an important event of the year. To this day, a husband prepares well-packed gifts for his wife’s family, while in return, the family prepares a good meal to welcome their daughter and son-in-law.
There used to be a lot of etiquette rules surrounding this important visit. For example, the number of gifts given had to be an even number, the visit had to end before dinner, etc. Although most of these traditions are disappearing, the tradition of showing love and respect to the families stands.