Chinese New Year (Chinese: 春節, 春节, Chūnjíe; 農曆新年, 农历新年, Nónglì Xīnnián; or 過年, 过年, Guònián), is also known as the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival and is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are celebrated as a family affairs. The celebration was traditionally highlighted with a religious ceremony given in honor of Heaven and Earth, the gods of the household and the family ancestors.
In preparation for New Year’s Day, Chinese families clean their homes and decorate their homes. On the walls and doors written on red paper are poetic couplets (wishes) for example, for health and happiness or prosperity and longevity. As live blooming plants to symbolize rebirth and new growth, they decorate their living rooms with flowers. They also have platters of oranges and tangerines symbols of abundant happiness (wealth and good luck), and a candy tray. The Tray of Togetherness has eight compartments, each containing symbolic foods such as lotus seeds and lychee nuts to provide a sweet beginning to the New Year.
Firecracker displays on New Year’s Eve is the Chinese way of sending out the old year and welcoming in the New Year. On the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, every door in the house, and even windows, have to be open to allow the old year to go out. Chinese New Year consists of a period of celebrations, commencing on New Year’s Day with the New Moon on the first day of the new year and ends on the full moon 15 days later. The 15th day of the new year is called the Lantern Festival and is celebrated at night with a parade.
2012 is the year of the Dragon. It takes place every twelve years in Chinese zodiac. The year of the dragon is said to be a very prosperous year for the people of China. It is said that anyone born in this year will be healthy, wealthy, and wise.
Unlike Western dragons, China’s celestial dragon symbolizes potent and benevolent power. Dragon years are considered particularly auspicious for new businesses, marriage and children. Dragon years also tend to boost individual fortunes and the world economy.
2012 – Year of the Dragon
2012 – Year of the Dragon
Vancouver Chinatown Spring Festival Celebration
Sunday, January 29th, 2012
The renowned Chinese New Year Parade signature event of Vancouver’s Chinatown will feature lion dances, cultural dance troupes, marching bands, martial arts performances and much more. It’s an annual cultural extravaganza not to be missed.
Woo Hoo! We are going to be visiting friends and going to the Chinese New Year Parade. Happy New Year, and Kung Hei Fat Choi.