Friday, February 1, 2013

Chinese New Year: The Significance (Part One of Five)

Only a few weeks left until one of the most important traditional Chinese holidays: the Chinese New Year. This nationally celebrated event is the annual celebration that marks the beginning of the new year, according to the Chinese Lunar calendar. Always falling during January or February, the Chinese New Year also marks the end of the winter season, originally purposed to notify farmers when to begin their spring harvests. For this reason, it is also sometimes referred to as the Spring Festival

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Each year the day is different, but this 2013 the holiday will begin on February 10th. Up to two days at the beginning of the celebration are considered a public holiday, giving people time off work to kick off the new year with friends and family

In addition to being one of the most important holidays, it is also the longest- lasting for fifteen daysThe much looked forward to festivities end on the 15th night with a celebration called Chap Goh Mei. Chap Goh Mei literally translates to "the fifteenth night". 

One of the most unique and exciting parts of the new year are the creatures of the Chinese Zodiac. There are twelve creatures of the Chinese Zodiac and each year one of them is selected to represent the year we are entering into. In 2012, it was the Year of the Dragon, specifically the Water Dragon. This year will welcome the Year of the Water Snake. 

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