Introduction “A special event recognizes a unique moment in time with ceremony and ritual to satisfy specific needs” (Goldblatt, 1997). There are many different types of event, taking place in different settings and on every scale. There are personal event, private events, commercial events and public events. The reason for choosing the Chinese New Year event is that it is a big event in my home country. It represents the history and culture from thousand year ago in China.
In this report, it covers certain dimensions: the background, rise in the event industry, event as a role in the society, positive and negative aspects and the conclusion.
Background The Chinese New Year festival, also named as the Lunar New Year festival, is based on the Lunar calendar. It starts with the New Moon on the first day of the New Year and ends on the full moon on fifteen days later. The calendar is a combination of lunar and solar movement, so the Chinese New Year falls on different day in each year.
(Chinese New Year Celebration, 2007) There is a legend behind this festival. It states that in a thousand of years ago, a cruel monster, Nien, eats people on the New Years Eve. To prevent this from happening, every citizens stick red paper in front of the door, light up fires and set of firecrackers as Nien is afraid of red color, lights and noises. In the early next day, the Nien has kept away and people start celebrating. (History of Chinese New Year, 2005) Rise of this event industry.
From that day onwards, Chinese people developed a tradition for celebrating the coming of the New Year and the start of Spring. From the past until now, family members have been gathered for reunion and join to have a meal together on the Chinese New Year night. Chinese people have a traditional saying that being awake all night during the New Year’s Eve will help the parents to stay in a longer life. In the past, people in China celebrate the New Year by making jianzi, a Chinese sweet soup dumpling, a week before the arrival of the New Year.
Every member of the family, from grandparents to grand children, participated in the preparation of the dumplings. The dumplings represent a symbol of reunion because of its round shape as the pronunciation in jianzi is similar to the meaning of reunion in Chinese. The whole family will spend the first fifteen days of the Chinese New Year together and they have a tradition to light up firecrackers for celebration during the first few days of New Year. For the hustle and bustle century in year 2008, family members no longer have the tradition of dumplings making.
Still, all members of the family will join together for reunion and have a dinner gathering. Parents will give out “lucky money” in red envelops to the children to put under the pillow for staying away the evil, so as to continue the legend. People will post words for good fortune or symbols on some red papers and stick around or outside the house. Shows and dances are performed to celebrate the event. Also, the Government assigns three days of public holidays for the Chinese New Year holiday. Role of this industry in society
The celebration of the Chinese New Year event not only take place in China, but also many other places around the world. In New York City, it has been the ninth year of celebrating the event. There are cultural performances performed by traditional and Asian-American singers such as dragon shows during the parade along the China Town main street – Mott Street, the Bowery, East Broadway. Lunar New Year flower market is held in some parks which the size of operation is getting bigger year by year.
In London, the event is organized by the London Chinatown Chinese Association. Entertainment for all family is held in the Trafalgar Square for the whole afternoon in which dragon and lion dances and traditional Chinese arts are performed by performers from London and China. Fireworks are displayed in Leicester Square; food and decorations are throughout the day in Chinatown. The event last for a month from February to March. In Sydney, parades and concerts are organized for the celebration. This year they have some new elements in the parades.
It is the first time to divide the parades into themes and colors to present the main elements of Chinese community in Sydney. Concert is held on a floating stage in Tumbalong Park, Darling Harbour which includes 600 performers. Positive and negative aspects In general, there are some impacts according to the organization and the operation of the events especially they are held in many other countries. These aspects are of positive and negative elements which show the problems or satisfying results for future development.
For the positive aspects from social perspective, Chinese New Year event encloses the relationship among family members. Due to the fast pace in the modern 21st century, people are so busy on their work and neglect the importance of the communication and relationship with family. Chinese New Year creates an opportunity for people to gather with their family members and spend time with them. This will favor the communication within the family and narrow the generation gap.
As in the past, the whole big family lived in the same village at the same place, their relationship is better than the new generation and there is fewer generation gaps. This tradition acts as an annual big family gathering in the eye of the modern generation. From the cultural aspects, the event establishes a fusion of cultural experiences. As mentioned in the previous paragraphs, Chinese New Year event celebration is not only staying within China, this culture is also spread over to other regions of the world.
The expanding of cultural perspectives is a good way to introduce the background knowledge to other countries. This is a chance to allow the others understand the structure of our country which can favor communication and eliminate misunderstandings. It also shows a kind of respect from the other countries and reduces the cultural diversity and discrimination among countries. From the economic prospective, the event boost up the overall revenue not only in China but also in many countries.
Celebrations include functions and activities in which can attract a lot of tourists to visit and consume. The concert held in Sydney attracts a lot of visitors to attend as it is a brand new idea to celebrate the event. Also, the organizers of the event produce a lot of event-related products and attract consumers. Lunar New Year market is a good example to show that it boosts a certain amount of income from the event. For the negative aspects from the environmental prospective, some activities can destroy the overall environment.
People used to light firecrackers as a kind of celebration activities during the Chinese New Year, it is of a level of danger in the physical point of view. Accidents occurred in some years ago in China and the Government has published laws to forbid this type of activities to be happened again. And from another angle, it can be pollution to the overall environment. The noise created by those firecrackers is at a high pitch, which can cause damage to the ears especially to the elderlies and children. The firecrackers also provide waste disposals it increase the workload of the sweeper.
The event can promote tourism to the outside boundaries and develop a theme of the country itself which can gain benefits in the overall area. Conclusion To conclude, Chinese New year event is of good impacts to the society as a whole. It continues the tradition of family reunion from the past until now. This generates the communication and the relationship within family members. Since the advanced technology we have in this century, it reduces face to face contact between each other. And this event creates an opportunity to break the barrier and gather people in the same union.