Fireworks are shot on at midnight to traditionally scare away a monster at night and save the people. Therefore, the next day the Chinese say “Congratulations,” for surviving the threat of the monster.
Fireworks were outlawed more many years as extravagant and unsafe. Now with their new found wealth and freedom, Chinese go firecracker crazy. Not just on this night. Eight days later, the money god is supposed to be going through, so business shoot them off again ALL DAY to attract his attention. Ear muffs are in order.
Here is promotional video about Taiwan. Although a little commercial, the video shows a nice cross-section of Taiwan. It’s a great place to study Chinese. People are friendly and gentle here. “Pu Tong Hua”, Mandarin, is also the national language here.
Like Christmas, Chinese New Years is a family affair. It is a day when even the poorest try to have an all out feast for everyone in the family. In addition to decorations, the foods are filled with symbolism. Here is a pretty good video in which a chef explains some of the special dishes prepared for this meal.