According to historic record, ancient Huai’an people had very grand new years. Major activities before and after Lunar New Year include:
Laba porridge: Porridge combining millet, sticky rice, water caltrop, chestnut, red bean and red date was cooked on the 8th, 18th and 28th days of the twelfth month of the lunar year; people had Laba porridge to pray for good health and good harvest.
Preparing and posting spring couplets before the Lunar New Year, after seeing off the Kitchen God in the seeing off the Kitchen God, people washed their hands, burned joss sticks and played firecrackers, then they posted the couplets.
Washing off dirties of the old year: On the 25th of the twelfth month of the lunar year, people attended sacrificial activities to drive out evil spirits and wash out dirties; each family cleaned all their houses, washed all their clothes, and worshiped god.
New Year’s Eve: This is the climax time for driving out evil spirits and washing out dirties, houses were cleaned, and people should bid farewell to the outgoing year to the elders, teachers, and friends. The whole family gathered, drank year wine, eat dumplings, burned red candles and waited for the New Year.
Bringing in wealth and treasure on the Lunar New Year's day: This is a major activity during the New Year, according to a poetry of Qing Dynasty about Huai’an people in the New Year, people hung “door money” (coins made by paper) on their doors to “bring in wealth and treasure”.
Going to the Temple Fair: Each family visited relatives and friends and wished prosperity to each other, Huai’an people liked going to the Temple Fair best, the Confucius Temple, Ciyun Temple and Haishen Temple were crowded with people during the New Year.
New Year activities of ancient Huai’an people lasted for 40 days from the 8th of the twelfth month of the lunar year to the 18th of the first month, they reflect abundant historic culture of ancient Huai’an.