Little Chinese New Year (Xiao Nian/小年) will be celebrated in Qingdao on the eve of the last half moon of the year, January 26. Little New Year is an event closely connected to the Kitchen God in China. Seven nights ahead of the full moon of Chinese New Year’s Eve, Little New Year begins the Spring Festival and is a time to be with family – expect huge traffic jams and full jiaozi (饺子/dumpling) shops all around town. The Rabbit will also be welcomed early with traditional home made jiaozi- just a week to go for Spring Festival. Little New Year signals a slowdown in work as people are rushing about taking care of last minute preparations for the fireworks and feasts to come, expect your office/school/factory to be winding down as well in the run up to one of the largest celebrations on Earth.
Xiao Nian Kuai Le – Happy Little New Year – 小年快乐～！
More information on Chinese Little New Year from China.org.cn:
Little New Year, which falls about a week before the lunar New Year, is also known as the Festival of the Kitchen God, the deity who oversees the moral character of each household. In one of the most distinctive traditions of Spring Festival, a paper image of the Kitchen God is burned on Little New Year, dispatching the god’s spirit to Heaven to report on the family’s conduct over the past year. The Kitchen God is then welcomed back by pasting a new paper image of him beside the stove. From this vantage point, the Kitchen God will oversee and protect the household for another year. The close association of the Kitchen God with the Lunar New Year has resulted in Kitchen God Festival being called Little New Year. Although very few families still make offerings to the Kitchen God on this day, many traditional holiday activities are still very popular.