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Chinese New Years

Chinese New Years

This year the Chinese New Year celebrations start on January 27, New Year’s Eve. The festivities will end on February 2, but the traditions last around two weeks. 

Chinese New Year

It is the longest holiday on the Chinese calendar.  Chinese New Year’s celebration starts on a different day each year. It always falls somewhere between the end of January and the middle of February. It moves around because it is based on the lunar (moon) calendar and not on the solar (sun) calendar.  There are 365 ¼ days on the solar calendar, so we need to add a day every four years (leap year).  Since the lunar calendar is two days shorter than the solar calendar, it is necessary to add an entire month every few years.

The holiday is steeped in tradition that dates back thousands of years.  There are many myths and superstitions surrounding the Chinese New Year.  The traditions vary among the 23 provinces in China and various countries throughout the world. 

Chinese Zodiac

The Chinese calendar attaches different animals from the zodiac to each lunar year in a cycle of 12 years. This year is the year of the Rooster. If you were born in 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, you might be a rooster. If you were born in January or February, you will need to check when the New Year was celebrated that year to see if you belong to the outgoing or incoming zodiac sign. Roosters are the tenth sign of the zodiac and are seen as confident, honest and hardworking. They also enjoy being around people but can be seen as attention seekers.

I have always thought if you were born in the year of the zodiac sign being celebrated, this was your lucky year.  Just the opposite is true.  According to Chinese tradition, it denotes you have an unlucky year. If you are a Rooster, might want to check out this website for some suggestions on how to improve your luck.

https://medium.com/@RM_Abi_/the-year-of-the-rooster-are-you-feeling-clucky-7a6308b8c1e7#.77ymro7fr

How the Holiday is Celebrated

From January 20 – 26, 2017 

Everyone is doing a thorough cleaning of their home, washing away the old. They are busy shopping for decorations, food, and new clothes.

January 27, 2017 New Year’s Eve

Decorations are hung (mostly red for good luck).

Families gather for reunion dinner while watching the festivities on television.  Children are given money in red envelopes to bring them luck.

At midnight the traditional New Year’s Bell is rung driving away bad luck and bringing good fortune.  Firework displays and lighting firecrackers close out the New Year’s Eve celebration.

January 28, 2017 New Year’s Day

Everyone puts on their new red clothes and head out to make sacrifices to their ancestors and watch lion and dragon dances.

January 29, 2017

Married daughters visit their parents home.

January 30 – February 3, 2017

Visit relatives and friends.

February 4, 2017

Most people will return to work.

February 11, 2017

The Lantern Festivals will bring the New Year’s Celebration to an end. Chinese lanterns are lit and set afloat in the air, or on the sea, rivers, or lakes.

 

 

Kathryn

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