You would need to study the Chinese culture and philosophies to fully appreciate the nuances and depth of meaning of this holiday, but we can tell you that, again, it is something that has a deep resonance within the human being because all have a sense of the passage of time and want to have a way to track this and its implications, knowing deep within one has a limited number of years to experience. So at once, the achievement of a New Year milestone is both a reward for having survived but also a reminder of a diminishing rate of return to expect in the future. So the way this is dealt with culturally is to counteract the negative realizations and realities to make it a celebration more so than a time for inner reflection and worries about the future.
There is wisdom in this because, after all, one cannot do much about the clock but one can do much about governing one’s own mood state and perspective in seeing how they view the world, as more a glass half full than a glass half empty, to enjoy the moment, enjoy one’s blessings, and celebrate them. Even the ability to have a celebration by still being alive and having the wherewithal to take time for such an indulgence is very reassuring, that one has some control over their life and some flexibility, and is deserving of a reward in fact for putting in yet another year of hard work and hopefully recognizing some accomplishments from the doing, and especially when things are proceeding satisfactorily, a celebration is a well-deserved reward given the difficulties of life. But even when the year has been harsh and unrewarding in some respects, the turning over of the calendar in a sense is seen as a fresh start, that one has a New Year to work with and good fortune can well return.
There is a large perception that luck has a role in things and much focus on attracting good luck, and this has again an inner wisdom, that one needs hope as a bridge many times to keep going under difficult circumstances and to find a way back to a better inner balance when things will work better and be more successful, because one regains their footing and the wherewithal to be effective, and that is often all that is needed to overcome a setback of some kind. Having hope for the future, even through luck, helping to bring better things into being creates an aura of expectation and an infusion of new energy. That may well help the believer in luck to be more successful, through simply expecting it to happen and doing their best without fear getting in the way to make them hesitate, or even sabotage their efforts through harboring too much negativity. Then being distracted and inefficient, and perhaps too reserved and hesitant to move boldly and quickly when that might be called for, through an inner fear of failure looming too large will almost will guarantee the failure will happen by their efforts becoming substandard and then self‑defeating.
So everyone at times needs a bridge of faith to carry the day and keep things going. However that is summoned, it will be a benefit, and a cultural celebration that is embraced by an entire society presents a powerful spectacle of collective human power, ingenuity, and expectation that is heartening and encouraging, and provides a kind of collective energy that will help many who are flagging by providing a kind of springboard they can latch onto and benefit from indirectly. Even though they may not have initiated it so much personally, it, in effect, becomes a gift of the common collective effort because it will resonate within everyone through their common experience of the repetition gaining additional credence and power through the years, like an old friend coming to help them again and again. There is benefit in ritual of all kinds if it is applied to a positive purpose, and this is a very good example of a cultural ritual that is meaningful and serves the collective good quite reliably and effectively.