An important activity during the Spring Festival is bainian (to pay a New Year call). People start to pay New Year calls from the lunar New Year's Day, that is, the first day of the first month of the lunar calendar. Ever since the Ming Dynasty in the 14th century, ordinary people have begun to exchange greeting cards on this day.
On the morning of the lunar New Year's Day, people get up very early and call on others. The earlier one does so, the more sincere he is. Moreover, people wear new clothes and a new cap, symbolizing that a new year has begun.
The younger generation should call on their elders first, such as the grandfather, grandmother, father and mother, wishing them "Good health" and "Long life". Then the elders give children some money in a red envelope as a New Year gift. After that, people call on their relatives, friends and neighbors. As "big tangerine" is a homonym for "very lucky" in Chinese, so people often present red big tangerines as a gift while paying a New Year call.
Nowadays, besides greeting cards, people also use telephones and e-mails to pay New Year calls.