What do you know about Chinese New Year?
It is a happy and fun celebration for ALL.
2013 is The Year of the Snake.
There is actually a week long celebration called the Golden Festival in China for each New Year. Red and Gold are the colors associated with the celebration and for good luck and prosperity in general.
The Chinese New Year, which is the first day of the first month, in the Chinese calendar is assigned to an animal. According to one belief, Buddha promised gifts to all animals that would pay him homage. Only 12 animals came to honor Buddha so, to favor these 12 animals, each one was given one of the 12 years of the Chinese zodiac. People born during one of the animal's years are said to inherit distinctive characteristics of that animal. The signs repeat every 12 years. We will post the 12 animals on the challenge page in February.
Chinese New Year is the most important and longest of all Chinese festivals, celebrated in communities throughout the world. They usually include house cleaning, new clothes, a large banquet, ancestor worship and firecrackers.
Household doors are thrown open to let good luck enter on the first day of the New Year. Families go out to visit friends and worship at temples. Words are watched to avoid saying anything that signifies death, sickness or poverty.
Dragon and lion dances are performed around this time of the year with many people supporting the long dragons, which are typically made of silk, paper and bamboo. Acrobatic demonstrations, the beating of gongs and the clashing of cymbals are also popular activities as part of the Chinese New Year festivities.
Chinese New Year has various symbols and traditions. For example, flowers are an important part of New Year decorations. Two flowers that are often associated with Chinese New Year are the plum blossom (courage and hope) and the water narcissus (good luck and fortune).
Tangerines & oranges are displayed in many homes and stores as a sign of luck & wealth.
Envelopes with money, often come in the color red, which symbolizes happiness, good luck, success and good fortune. The color red is also used on these envelopes to ward off evil spirits. These envelopes are mainly given as presents to children.