Chinese New Year has just past for 2019 and this celebration got me thinking, ‘Should professing Christians be celebrating traditional events such as Chinese New Year?’
"....This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men." And He said to them, "You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.' But you say, 'If a man tells his father or his mother, "Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban"' (that is, given to God)— then you no longer permit Him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do." -Mark 7:6-13
Chinese New Year is an occasion that is focused upon fortune, luck, superstition and idols (year of particular animals) all regarding the new year. For some, celebrating this old tradition may be a christianised version of the occasion - believing in God's blessings and divine restorations to take place the following new year. For others, it may just be a family dinner to celebrate.
So the question remains, is it right to celebrate this occasion if we ‘Christianise’ it?
I believe we need to hold fast to our own convictions regarding this, being aware that God will not bless us joining in with celebrating false idols, superstition, fortune and luck, no matter how much it may be 'Christianised'. God will bless those who stay away from evil traditions of men and dedicate themselves to living for God and celebrating Him alone!
A great example of a God-centred tradition (which God created) that was practiced in the Old Testament, which Jews still keep today, is the one day a week that they call "Shabbat" (Hebrew for “Sabbath - Day of rest”). On this day, no one will do any work but will rest and spend that day worshiping God for everything that He has and is doing in their lives.
The difference between Shabbat and many other traditions is that the day is focused upon resting from work so that it can be dedicated to praising God. (Matthew 11:29, Exodus 34:21, Jeremiah 20:13, Psalm 75:1, Romans 12:1-2)
There are many Christians who still celebrate this tradition today, due to this very reason.
There are plenty of traditional occasions that we celebrate without giving another thought as to whether it is right or not to celebrate. We must weigh them up according to the bible and our own convictions through the Holy Spirit with what is right before God to take part in celebrating.