What is Chinese New Year?

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Chinese New Year is the beginning of the new year in the traditional Chinese lunar calendar. Because the lunar new year does not coincide with January 1st (unlike the solar calendar, which you might be more familiar with), the date of the celebration usually falls in late January or early February, and continues for fifteen days.

There are different activities and traditions that take place on certain days of the celebration. The day before the New Year is a time for cleaning the house in order to prepare for a fresh start. An elaborate dinner is cooked and eaten at midnight, at which time fireworks and firecrackers are set off all over town!

New Years Day itself is a day for spending time with (and paying respect to) the most senior members of the family, such as grandparents. The third day of the new year is a day for visiting friends, but is also a day to pay respect to ancestors by praying and tending to the graves of family members who have passed on. The fifth day of the new year is thought to be the birthday of the Chinese god of wealth, so families stay home to welcome him. The tenth through the twelfth days are a time for visiting friends. And on the fifteenth day, families light candles and lanterns to guide wayward spirits home, and signify the end of the New Year celebrations.

Throughout this time, the color red is very important to all of the celebrations. It is believed to scare away evil spirits and bad luck, so people make sure to wear lots of red clothing, hang up red decorations, and wrap gifts in red packaging.

by   (whyzz writer)
  • Further information

    In 2016, Chinese New Year falls on February  9th -- Many cities often have parades to celebrate this holiday. Find out if where you live does, and bring your family to check it out! The new year is the year of the Monkey in the Chinese Zodiac.
     

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