Today is 小年 XiaoNian, the 23rd of the 12th Chinese lunar month. Xiaonian literally means “little new year”. It is a special day because it marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year preparation. People start cleaning their houses and their new year shopping.
XiaoNian is also called Kitchen God Festival or Worshiping the Stove Festival. According to the legend, on the day of Xiaonian, the Kitchen God will report to the Jade Emperor on the good and evil of the family. Based on his report, Jade Emperor will decide to give out reward or punishment. To prevent Kitchen God from saying bad things, people thought of an idea: sticking some sweet onto the mouth of Kitchen God. There is a saying in Chinese, “男不拜月，女不祭灶“（nái bù bài yuè, nǚ bù jì zào), which means, men do not worship the moon and women do not worship the Kitchen God. So only men can worship the kitchen God today.
In addition to the customs of Worshiping the Kitchen God, people sweep their houses and put on Spring Couplet and paper cutouts for window decoration. The paper used for Spring Couplet and cutouts is in red – the festive color in China.