Chinese New Year

Kung Hei Fat Choi!!

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In China, as well as those countries outside of China with large populations of Chinese, one event is celebrated with much preparation, and even more funfare – the Chinese New Year, also called as the Spring Festival or Lunar New Year. It is a festival much anticipated by many people, not all of them Chinese. The Chinese calendar is based on a combination of lunar and solar cycles. The lunar cycle takes about 29.5 days and in order to sychronize with the traditional solar calendar, the chinese have a leap year every few years (usually, seven years out of a 19-year cycle). It’s the same concept as having a leap year every four years for the traditional Gregorian calendar. This would explain why the Chinese New Year falls on a different day (in the Gregorian Calendar) every year.

The holiday is celebrated as a family affair, a time of reunion and thanksgiving. The celebration was traditionally highlighted with a religious ceremony given in honor of Heaven and Earth, the gods of the household and family ancestors.”

Dragon dance

The Chinese Zodiac

Animal Branch Dates
Rat Zi February 19, 1996 February 7, 2008
Ox Chou February 7, 1997 January 26, 2009
Tiger Yin January 28, 1998 February 14, 2010
Rabbit Mao February 16, 1999 February 3, 2011
Dragon Chen February 5, 2000 January 23, 2012
Snake Si January 24, 2001 February 10, 2013
Horse Wu February 12, 2002 January 31, 2014
Sheep Wei February 1, 2003 February 19, 2015
Monkey Shen January 22, 2004 February 8, 2016
Rooster You February 9, 2005 January 28, 2017
Dog Xu January 29, 2006 February 16, 2018
Pig Hai February 18, 2007 February 5, 2019

Taboos & Superstituions

Here are some taboos and superstitions for the Chinese New Year:

House Cleaning – the entire house must be cleaned before the 1st day of the new year. At the same time, cleaning equipment must be put away, and there is to be no sweeping or dusting during New Year’s day. After New Year’s day, sweeping may be done but dust and rubbish must never be swept out of the house by the front door – to avoid good fortune being “swept away.” Also, the dust/rubbish should never be taken out until the fifth day. There is a belief that if you do this, you are actually “sweeping one of the family away.”

Firecrackers – welcoming in the New Year and sending out the old one. At midnight, all doors and windows have to be open so that the old year can go out.

Debts – all debts had to be paid before New Year’s day and there is no lending to be done at all on this day.

New Year at Glorietta 4

Back to Holiday Specials

Sources:

http://www.educ.uvic.ca/faculty/mroth/438/CHINA/chinese_new_year.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_new_year
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pig_(zodiac)
http://www.educ.uvic.ca/faculty/mroth/438/CHINA/taboos.html

One comment on “Chinese New Year

  1. Pingback: Hibernation « Vampyr Elite

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