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Chinese New Year's Day
(Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival )
 
The Chinese celebrate New Year’s Day sometime between January 10 and February 19 of the Gregorian calendar. New Year is a day, the second New Moon after the winter solstice. It is also known as the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival, the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays.
 
Legend has it that in ancient China Nian ("Nyehn") was a man-devouring predator beast that could infiltrate houses silently. The Chinese soon learned that Nian was sensitive to loud noises and the color red, and they scared it away with explosions, fireworks and the liberal use of color red domestically. These customs led to the first New Year celebrations.
 
New Year is selebrated internationally in areas with large populations of ethnic Chinese, Chinese New Year is considered to be a major holiday for the Chinese as well as ethnic groups such as the Mongolians, Koreans, the Miao (Chinese Hmong) and the Vietnamese, who were influenced by Chinese culture in terms of religious and philosophical worldview, language and culture in general.
 
 
Around the New Year people greet each other with various kinds of greeting cards. Chinese New Year is celebrated with firecrackers, dragon dances and lion dances. Typically the game of mahjong is played in some families.
 
A reunion dinner is held on New Year's Eve where members of the family, near and far, get together for celebration. The New Year's Eve dinner is very large and traditionally includes chicken. Fish is included, but not eaten up completely (and the remaining stored overnight), as the Chinese phrase New Year's day is also celebrated within the family.
 
Usually family members gather on the morning of New Year's Day. It is at this gathering that red packets are given to unmarried members of the family. The age of the recipient is not material to receiving the packets. Married couples usually give out two red packets on the first new year after being married. This is because the wife presents one and the husband presents one. In subsequent years they may give one as a couple. The Chinese New Year period ends with the Lantern Festival, the fifteenth day of the month.
 
The seventh day traditionally is known as the common man's birthday, the day when everyone grows one year older. It is also the day when tossed fish salad, yusheng, is eaten. People get together to toss the colourful salad and make wishes for continued wealth and prosperity. This is only celebrated amongst the Chinese in Southeast Asia, such as Malaysia and Singapore.
 
In the year 2006, January 29th is the first day of the New Year is the year of Dog.
 

In the year 2000, February 5, 2000. It was the first day in the Year of the Dragon.
In the year 2001, January 24, 2001.It was the first day in the Year of the Snake.
In the year 2002 February 12, 2002. It was the first day in the Year of the Horse.
In the year 2003 February 1, 2003. It was the first day in the Year of the Ram.(sheep, goat)
In the year 2004 January 22, 2004. It was the first day in the Year of the Monkey.
In the year 2005 Feb.9th 2005 Rooster


In the year 2006 Jan. 29th 2006 Dog
In the year 2007 Feb. 18th 2007 Pig

Calendar Date
Animal
January 29, 2006
Dog
February 18, 2007
Boar(Pig)
February 7, 2008
Rat
January 26, 2009
Ox
February 10, 2010
Tiger

To find out Chinese New Year days there is a calendar written by H. LIANG, which gives all the dates from 1900-2060 .It can be downloaded freely from http://lunarcal.tripod.com/Download.html.

As indicated above, an animal, like a mascot, designates each New Year and there are 12 animal names; so by this system, year names are re-cycled every 12 years.

The Chinese New Year is the most important holiday. The important celebrations are: -
Turning over a New Leaf
Sweeping of the Grounds
Kitchen God
Family Celebration
Lai-See
Everybody’s Birthday
Lantern Festival

“The dragon in traditional Chinese New Year's Day parades is believed to repel evil spirits that would spoil the New Year. Dragons represent celestial and terrestrial power, wisdom, and strength. They reside in water and bring wealth and good luck and, in Chinese belief, rainfall for crops. The five-clawed dragon became the Chinese Imperial emblem (the four-clawed being the common dragon). The three-clawed dragon is the Japanese dragon.”

The New Year season lasts fifteen days. The first week is the most important and most often celebrated with visits to friends and family as well as greetings of good luck. The celebrations end on the important and colourful Lantern Festival on the evening of the 15th day of the month. However, Chinese believe that on the third day of the Chinese New Year it is not appropriate to visit family and friends, and call the day "chec hao" meaning "easy to get into arguments".

The date of the Chinese New Year is determined by the Chinese calendar, a lunisolar calendar.

 
 
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