People in most of the areas get up early to sweep tombs for their ancestors and burn incense and joss papers in memorial of them. This is also a reflection of the traditional value "Xiao," or filial piety, in China.
Finally, it's the Spring Festival Eve. This day is regarded as the most important day for family reunion throughout the year. Children who work or study outside the hometown, return home to celebrate the festival with their family.
The whole family enjoys a big feast at night while watching the Spring Festival gala. They stay up late and wait to ring in the New Year. A must-eat food is dumplings. Elders give kids red packets, or red envelopes, with cash in them.
In the days between 28th and 30th of La Yue, people also put on couplets on the gates, paper-cutting decorations on the windows, and New Year pictures on the walls of their homes to express their best wishes.
Embracing the first day of the New Year, people visit friends and relatives' homes and make New Year's greetings to each other. They use auspicious words to pray for good luck in the New Year.
Gong Xi Fa Cai (congrats for being more prosperous and better off), Wan Shi Ru Yi (everything goes as you wish), Shen Ti Jian Kang (being fit and healthy) are among the most frequently used greeting terms.
As married daughters traditionally spend the Spring Festival Eve with their husbands' families, on this day it's time to return to their original home and visit their families.
Today, this custom is weakened, since more people spend the eve of Chinese New Year in many different ways – not necessarily in their husbands' homes.
This day is called "Zheng Yue Shi Wu," or the Lantern Festival. Except for another warm family reunion, every household also hangs lanterns in front of the gate or on the balcony. It's also common to use colored lights to decorate the windows.
In some specially-held local lantern fair, there are riddles written on paper hanging under the lanterns. People can entertain themselves by guessing the answer of the riddles. A typical food on that day for northerners is Yuan Xiao, a ball-shaped dessert made with glutinous rice. Southerners eat Tang Yuan, a similar meal made by different techniques.