Chinese New Year!
The Chinese New Year in 2011 is to be celebrated on the Chinese full moon on the 3rd February. This will mark the start of the Year of the Rabbit. The year will be 4709 on the Chinese Calendar. Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival!
This will be the year 4708 on the Chinese calendar as they use a much older calendar that began before the International calendar.
The Chinese New Year is the main Chinese festival of the year and it is not a religious event.
The Chinese use the Lunar calendar for their festivals, so the date of the Chinese New Year changes from year to year. The date is worked out to be when the new moon (black moon) in either late January or February happens. Traditionally, celebrations last for fifteen days and end on the date of the full moon. In China the public holiday for the Chinese New Year lasts for three days and it is their biggest celebration of the year.
The Chinese name each year after the name of one of twelve animals.
Here are some years and their Chinese animal names -
2008 the Year of the Rat
2009 the Year of the Ox
2010 the Year of the Tiger
2011 the Year of the Hare (rabbit)
2012 the Year of the Dragon
2013 the Year of the Snake
2014 the Year of the Horse
2015 the Year of the Ram (sheep, goat)
2016 the Year of the Monkey
2017 the Year of the Rooster
2018 the Year of the Dog
2019 the Year of the Pig (Boar)
Over a sixth of the people in the world celebrate Chinese New Year. Customs vary in different parts of the world, but everywhere the main idea is the same. It is a time to remember the family and wish everyone peace and prosperity in the coming year. Find out more about the customs. Chinese New Year is a time when families get together to celebrate. It is also a special time to remember members of the family who have died. In the days coming up to New Year every family buys presents, decorations, food, new clothes and people have their hair cut. Houses are cleaned from top to bottom. The aim is to sweep out any bad luck from the old year and clear the way for good luck. However, it is bad luck to clean on New Years Day itself.
Families put lights up outside their homes, rather like our Christmas lights. Doors and windows are often newly painted in red. On New Years Eve decorations made from red and gold paper are hung down the doors to bring good luck. These are marked with messages of good fortune such as happiness, prosperity and long life.
Watch the video below of Chinese New Year Celebration’s in Singapore Chinatown.
Below is a video of a Chinese New year Dragon Dance in Singapore.