Kung Hei Fat Choi! Cheers to the Year of the Ox..

A lot of people now, though non-Chinese, are celebrating the Chinese New Year. This celebration is known as the Spring Festival in China, T... thumbnail 1 summary

A lot of people now, though non-Chinese, are celebrating the Chinese New Year. This celebration is known as the Spring Festival in China, Tet in Vietnam and Sol in Korea, other Asian countries simply refer to it as Chinese New Year.

But what exactly is Chinese New Year? I've done a bit of research about this.The date of the new year is determined by the lunar calendar, so the festivities begin with the new cycle of the moon that falls between January 21 and February 19. That is why Chinese New Year is also known as the "Lunar New Year".

Each year is named for one of 12 symbolic animals in the Chinese zodiac in sequence. The animals are (in the following order), rat, ox, tiger, hare (rabbit), dragon, serpent(snake), horse, ram (sheep/goat), monkey, rooster, dog and boar(pig).

The Chinese New Year celebration is one of the most important events in Asian communities worldwide. Traditionally, the celebration lasts for two weeks and during this period, towns, villages and homes are decorated with colored lanterns, flower displays, and brightly colored banners with new year greetings. Preparation usually begin a week before the new year, where houses are cleaned to symbolically sweep away all misfortune. It is also the time to pay off debs, paint doors and windowpanes with red, and decorate the home with flowers.

To avoid bad luck, people should be on their best behavior and to avoid uttering bad words. On the eve of the new year, familes gather for a feast of special dishes. Each dish has symbolic meaning, often signifying prosperity and good luck.

At night, families light fireworks to attract the attention of generous gods and to drive away evil spirits. Some well to do families, or in some cases, communities have dragon dances to shoo away evil sprits.

On the first day of new year, people put on new clothes to symbolize the end of the old year and its negative happenings. Some visit relative and friends and give gifts like special rice cakes and fruits, usually of round varieties like kumquats, oranges etc. Adults, follow an ancient custom of giving small red packets with money (called hong bao or lai see in Chinese) mostly to kids, unmarried adults and employees.

2009 is the Year of the Ox.. and Pinaywifeatbp., wishes everyone good health and prosperity! Kung Hei Fat Choi!


GAGAY said...

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