CNY Day 5: The God of Wealth 迎财神

After New Year’s Day, the sound of firecrackers start to die down, but on the fifth day the firecrackers are once again popping and crackling around midnight. After the fifth day of CNY, all of traditions or taboos dictated by the New Year celebration can be broken. Therefore, it was called 破五 (pò wǔ, the broken fifth) and is considered a day worth of celebration. There are various stories regarding the origin of this date, but in general, it marks the end of the Chinese New Year vacation, and the beginning of new businesses and a new life. In some parts of China, one of the most important activities is to welcome and worship 迎财神 (yíng cái shén), the God of Wealth. In ancient China, wealth was primarily connected to traveling, which allowed people to trade. Therefore, it is said that the God of Wealth is also the God of the Roads who protects business people traveling to all different directions. No matter where they go, fortune and good luck will follow them. In other parts of China, it is a tradition to eat as much as you can, wishing for a year of great abundance and no hunger. Some places have dumplings, because it looks like a 元宝 (yuán bǎo, Ingot, an ancient Chinese currency), representing good fortune; while other places will make offerings of fish 年年有余(鱼)” (nián nián yǒu yú), wishing for a year always with extras to share. No matter what people do to celebrate, on this date, they wish for a new year filled with fortune and happiness and void of hunger and disasters.


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