Chinese New Year 2009 - Gong Xi Fa Chai

January 27th, 2009 - 3:10 am ICT by Amrit Rashmisrisethi  

Chinese New Year begins according to the Chinese calendar which consists of both Gregorian and lunar-solar calendar systems. The Spring Festival or the Chinese New Year is called the Lunar New Year and is considered as one of the most important traditional Chinese holidays, especially by people
inside mainland China.

People outside of mainland China and East Asia, especially westerners, call it “Chinese New Year.” The festival traditionally begins on the first day of the first lunar month in the Chinese calendar and ends on the 15th; this day is called Lantern Festival. Chinese New Year’s Eve is known as Chúxī. It literally means “Year-pass Eve”.

Celebrated in areas with large populations of ethnic Chinese, Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had influence on the new year celebrations of its geographic neighbours, as well as cultures with whom the Chinese have had extensive interaction. These include Koreans, Mongolians, Nepalese, Bhutanese, Vietnamese, and formerly the Japanese before 1873. In China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and other countries or regions with significant Han Chinese populations.

The Chinese New Year celebrations are marked by visits and new clothings are usually worn to signify a new year. The colour red is liberally used in all decorations. Red packets are given to juniors and children by the married and elders.

According to the Chinese calender , the year 2009 is ” THE YEAR OF THE OX ” and the Ox/ Buffalo sign symbolizes prosperity through fortitude and hard work.

Today, Chinese New Year parades are annual traditions in many cities with significant Chinese populations.

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