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Chinese New Year

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SOME FACTS AND HISTORY ABOUT THE CHINESE NEW YEAR

Chinese New Year: Tranquil BuddhaThe traditional Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration is actually 2-3 weeks in length, although most of the festivities occur during the first five days.  It begins on the first New Moon of the new year and ends on the full moon. The new year is determined by the second new moon after the winter solstice.

 

The first celebration is lost in time and began thousands of years ago, although many legends of the first celebrations still exist.  The traditional holiday is one of celebration and family unification.  There would be great festivals where the stores of entire towns would close for two weeks. Sacrifices were also a part of the older rituals. The more contemporary American celebration is still celebrated, but not to as great of an extent.  Large family dinners, weekend celebrations and parades lead the highlights of the modern celebration. 

 

Some of the Chinese New Year traditions include:

  • In the traditional New Year's dinner (called the weilu), the spirits of the dead would be invited to the festive meal. The dinners have courses that include: fish, garlic chives, turnips, meat (and fish) balls and dumplings with rice flour pudding for desert

  • Burning paper money to pay for the traveling expenses of the dead so they can be with their families

  • Place sugar on the mouth of the kitchen god

  • Hanging words of good fortune around the house (called Spring Couplets, usually square papers with words or good wishes written on them - like luck, health, etc,)

  • Bright lights are kept on all night (to scare away evil beings such as Nian)

  • Visit neighbors and loved ones

  • It is taboo to sweep the floor during the first five days of the new year

  • One should not curse, swear, speak ill about others or speak of death during the holiday

WEBSITES AND ARTICLES ABOUT THE CHINESE NEW YEAR

GIFT IDEAS FOR THE CHINESE NEW YEAR

Chinese New Year Facts and History

 

Celebration of the Chinese New Year (CCC San Francisco): Information on the traditional and American celebration of this holiday.

 

Chinese New Year (Holiday Origins): Information on the origins of the Chinese New Year celebration and related links.

 

Chinese New Year-The History (Scotland Online): History of the Chinese New Year.

 

Chinese New Year (Univ. of Victoria): A site that covers the Chinese new year in general, the 15 day celebration, traditional foods, decorations and taboos/superstitions of the Chinese New Year

 

Chinese New Year Chinese Calendar (ChinaPage.com): This site includes the Chinese calendar, and some interesting facts about it as well.

 

Chinese New Year (Web-Holidays.com): A brief overview of the holiday.

 

Chinese New Year’s Crafts (KidsDomain.com): Different ideas to do with your children or class on the Chinese New Year.

 

Chinese New Year Recipes (MastersTech-Home.com): A list of recipes for some delicious food to be eaten on the Chinese New Year.

 

China

 

China, General Information (ChinaToday): Information and Facts about the Country of China.

 

China Online (official): "The Information Network of China."

Gifts are exchanged during the Chinese New Years celebrations.  We have provided a list of the gifts given during a traditional celebration:

 

Traditional Gifts:

  • Flowers (plum blossom, water narcissus)

  • Lai-See or Hong Boa Envelopes (good luck money for children - the envelopes are usually colored red) - a modern spin would be to make a donation to a child-oriented charity

  • Spring Couplets (good luck banners)

  • Fruit baskets (tangerines, Oranges, Pomelos)

  • Tray of Forgiveness (Gift basket/tray with dried fruits, sweets & candies)

  • Dinner (authentic Chinese dinner for the whole family)

  • Travel (airplane tickets for you to visit family, or to have them travel to you)

For more information on the meaning of the items below, please go to Celebration of the Chinese New Year website.

 

Chinese Zodiac

Dates of upcoming Chinese New Years:

2005 Feb 9
2006 Jan 29
2007 Feb 18

Rat:

Charming, Attraction to the opposite sex, critical, perfectionists, ambitious
Compatible with; Monkey, Ox and Dragon
    1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996
Ox:

Egocentric, Leadership qualities, quick to anger, motivated
Compatible with: Snake, Rooster, and Rat

    1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997
Tiger:

Adventurous, willing to take chances, charismatic, strong willed
Compatible with: Horses, Dragons, and Dogs

    1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998
Rabbit:

Loving, affectionate, friendly, articulate, talented
Compatible with: Sheep, Pig, and Dog.

    1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999
Dragon:

Popular, energetic, stubborn, fun loving
Compatible with: Rats, Snakes, Monkeys, and Roosters

    1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000
Snake:

Wise, romantic, financial good sense. Charitable
Compatible with: Ox and Rooster

    1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001

Horse:

Happy, hard working, handy, selfish, shy
Compatible with: Tigers, Dogs, and Sheep

    1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002

Ram/Sheep:

Artistic, charming, well grounded, stubborn, creative

Compatible with: Rabbits, Pigs, and Horses

    1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003
Monkey:

studious, charismatic, logical, procrastinators

Compatible with: Dragon and Rat

    1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004
Rooster:

Workaholic, outspoken, capable, egotistical

Compatible with: Ox, Snake, and Dragon

    1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005
Dog:

faithful, loyal, selfish, stubborn, critical of others

Compatible with: Horse, Tiger, and Rabbit
    1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006
Boar/Pig:

Honest, truthful, chivalrous, loyal, quick tempered

Compatible with: Rabbits and Sheep
    1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007

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Last modified: March 20, 2012

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