Descriptive Paper Essay, Research Paper
Tradition and Custom of Formosa
Every country has its amazing culture and tradition. It is an amazing experience for me to be able to be deeply connected with my own culture and also learn about American culture at the same time. I found out how important the traditions and customs are for a country. They are the strongest force that can bring people from the same country anywhere on earth together and become tightly united. It is how a country can be sustained and recognized by others. So, it is important to know about your own culture, where you are from and what is it like there. Tradition and Custom are the representation of a country?s pride. I would love to introduce you to some of the cultures and traditions that we have at ?Formosa?- Taiwan – during the Chinese New Year.
One night before the Chinese New Year, everything is based on auspiciousness. We usually have our so call ?Family Dinner?. Relatives from everywhere will come back home to Grandpa and Grandma?s house and have a rich meal all together at a round table. The round table represents how the gathering between the families will be long lasting and filled with happiness. It would never happen that we sit around a rectangular table. This would destroy the notion of ?a family sitting tightly around a circle and surrounded with a perfect atmosphere that flows successively in this family?. The main theme of the dinner will be having all kinds of food as much as possible that should be cooked with vegetables, fish, duck, beef, chicken or pork, chafing dish and some other little side dishes. It is like the Americans having abundance dinner during Christmas and Thanksgiving. While cooking the dinner, it would be a bad sign to flip the fish because during the old times, people usually went out and fished a lot as their living. It would be very inauspicious to flip the fish because it means flipping the boat as well. We are not supposed to finish the fish because in a Chinese common saying, ?always have enough and to spare every year?. We cannot finish eating the whole fish on the plate in order to wish a lavish new incoming year in everything. At the dinner table, it would be very impolite to stick the chopsticks into the rice towards someone because this is supposed to be the way that we worship or show obedience towards our gods or ancestors who have all passed away. It is improper to do this in front of a living person.
After Dinner, we have to stay up the whole night. This custom seems to protect the elders in the family from danger or misfortune. We receive red envelopes from relatives as lunar New Year gifts. Red symbolizes jubilance and is able to keep the evil away. It also has a short story behind it. A Long time ago, there was a monster that would eat people as its living. The people in the village came up with a method to scare away the monster. They used the loud noise that firecrackers make to scare the monster away. The firecracker was red and they knew that the monster was not able to distinguish the differences between the colors. Whenever it saws red, it would think it was the firecracker and run away every time. So that is why everyone has to light the firecracker and let it make big noises until it is all burned out to scare away the evil spirit and bad luck. We also write calligraphy in Spring Festival couplets with good fortune words on them to respect everyone and ourselves marching towards a great year. Lots of parents will buy children new clothes with some red color on it. We clean up our house completely for the New Year because we believe that we can wipe the bad luck and misfortune out of the house by cleaning and wiping everything clean. It feels refresh and transformed.
During the New Year season, we also go around to friends? houses or relatives? houses to pay a courtesy call on New Year?s Day which is the first day of the entire New Year break, or shortly thereafter, usually with a present. Kids are the beneficiaries of that because that is when we get our red envelopes! There are also taboos about what you should not say during the Chinese New Year. There is much more about our culture and customs besides Chinese New Year. The New Year is the most typical one so that people would find it particularly interesting.
Chinese New Year is one of the most fantastic moments during a year. There are all kinds of traditions and customs present at the same time and everywhere. Traditions and customs of one?s country are very unique and meaningful. There are always reasons for the citizens to follow it, which are the stories behind them. It is really fun to get to know our own customs really well. I still follow them even though I do not know the stories for every single one of them. I would love to know more about other countries culture and custom as well as sharing my experiences and knowledge with others about my traditions and custom. The path of discovery is absolutely fascinating!