Chinese New Year

Spring Festival
The most important Chinese holiday is Chinese New Year, which is known in China as Spring Festival. The festival ushers in the lunar New Year and is the West’s Christmas and New Year’s Eve rolled into one. From sun up to sun down, this is a time when the whole country throws itself into celebrating and eating.

Legend of Chinese New Year:
No one is quite sure exactly when or where the festival originated. Legend has it that once upon a time, there was a monster called Nian that attacked Chinese villages every spring, eating anything that came its way – people, animals, plants and the odd building. One spring, villagers hung red paper on their doors and threw bamboo on a fire when arrived. The monster was so startled by the bright colors and loud crackling noise of the burning bamboo that it turned and fled. Today the word“ nian” is the Chinese word for year.

Since that day, Chinese people hang red paper signs and lanterns outside their homes and enjoy making loud noises on New Year’s Eve. Firecrackers replaced bamboo after gunpowder was invented and the main idea today is the louder and bigger, the better.

Activities of the Spring Festival:
In the days leading up to the Spring Festival, every household gets a thorough clean since sweeping on New Year’s Day itself might sweep away the year’s good fortune. Breaking dishes or using sharp objects is also seen as potentially unlucky.

The holiday is a time for family celebration and nearly every university student or migrant worker heads home. It’ll seem like the whole country is going somewhere at this time, whether on their way home or taking advantage of the long holiday to do some traveling.

On New Year’s Eve, once the family has been gathered, food becomes a central consideration. Large numbers of delicacies are prepared and fish is often eaten as the Chinese word for fish is a homophone for surplus.

Children particularly enjoy the custom of receiving red envelopes. The envelopes contain gifts of money and are distributed by family elders to young unmarried relatives.

The 2011 Chinese New Year falls on February 3, 2011 Spring Festival.

2010 Date2011 Date2012 Date2013 Date2014 Date2015 Date
Chinese New YearFeb 14, 2010Feb 3, 2011Jan 23, 2012Feb 10, 2013Jan 31, 2014Feb 19, 2015

The Chinese calendar is made up of a cycle of twelve years, each of them named after an animal. According to Chinese astrology, every person is born in a year represented by an animal and his behavior and traits are tremendously influenced by the animal sign ruling the year. Here we bring you a list of the animal signs under which the years past, present and future fall. Read on to find out your chinese zodiac sign with the help of your birth year. Know which animal year sign you were born under. If you like this article, please click here and pass on this page to your friends and dear ones. May everything be to your wish in the coming year.