The Chinese New Year (CNY) is a widely celebrated cultural event around the world, especially in places with significant Chinese population. This festive occasion is steeped in symbolisms and traditions, such as the custom of giving red envelopes (hongbao) containing money for good luck or enjoying special foods which have auspicious meanings. Though CNY celebrations typically occur in a secular or cultural context, there are ways we can participate in its festivities and activities without conflicting with our Christian beliefs. This is important because for many Christians, it continues to serve as a meaningful time of reunion with our family members, relatives and friends regardless of its religious affiliations.
Our CNY celebration can represent something that aligns with our Christian beliefs, by serving as a time of thanksgiving to God for the blessings we have received throughout the previous year. The blessings may not necessarily be monetary in value. They could be good health, strong familial relationships, and personal achievements with the love and support of the family throughout the year. Christian families can make the reunion dinner a thanksgiving celebration of God’s providence, goodness, and mercy through His provision and protection.
CNY also provides a good opportunity to show our love and respect for our elderly parents and senior relatives to honour them for what they have contributed to our immediate and extended families.
In addition, it can be a time to reconnect with relatives and friends in the midst of our busyness to express our love for the people whom God has placed in our lives. If there are familial or friendship bonds that have been strained, we may prayerfully use this season to seek reconciliation and healing.
Finally, CNY can serve as a good platform for Christians to share God’s love with loved ones, relatives and friends who are non-believers. This festive season presents opportunities for evangelism, where we can share God’s favour in our lives and to testify of the transformation God has brought into our lives and demonstrate the love and goodness of God. It is a time to serve as a living testimony for God.
May our good Lord bless you in this Chinese New Year!