What Is Xiao Nian?
As the Spring Festival approaches, Chinese are celebrating Xiao Nian today, or literally "little new year", which marks the prelude to the Lunar New Year's Eve celebrations.
The 23rd day of the twelfth lunar month in the year, it is the day for offering sacrifices to the Kitchen God.
It is said on the day, the Kitchen God will go to Heaven to report the good and evils of the family to the Jade Emperor, the supreme ruler of Heaven. Then the Jade Emperor will decide his rewards and punishments based on the Kitchen God's reports.
On this day, a paper effigy of the Kitchen God will be burned. This is done to send the God to the Heaven. Families also offer candies to the Kitchen God to "bribe" him into saying good things in front of the Jade Emperor.