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China New Year Celebration

New Year Celebrations in China

New Year's Eve and New Year's Day in China is celebrated as a family affair, a time of reunion and thanksgiving.
Chinese New Year or ' Spring Festival' is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is often called the Lunar New Year, especially by people in mainland China and Taiwan. The festival traditionally begins on the first day of the first month in the Chinese calendar and ends on the 15th; this day is called Lantern Festival.
The Chinese calendar is based on a combination of lunar and solar movements.The lunar cycle is about 29.5 days.
In order to "catch up" with the solar calendar the Chinese insert an extra month once every few years (seven years out of a 19-yearcycle).
This is the same as adding an extra day on leap year. This is why, according to the solar calendar, the Chinese New Year falls on a different date each year.

History of Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year has a very interesting history.According to the legend,there was a giant beast Nian who used to swallow humans ina single bite.The Chinese people were very fightened and horrified ,later they realizwd that the beast Nian was scared of red color and loud noises.They started bursting crackers and used red color to scare the beast.Since then this day was called as 'GuNian' meaning "Pass over the Nian".Chinese considered the day broght new life for them and celebrated as a New Year.

The 15-day Celebration of Chinese New Year In China the New Year is celebrated for 15 days with great joy and enthusiasm.Every day has a special importance to it.

Day 1: The first day of the Lunar New Year is "The welcoming of the gods of the heavens and Earth."Most of the people stay
away from meat becuase it is believed that this will ensure long and happy lives for them.

Day 2: On this day,the Chinese pray to their ancestos as well as to all the gods.Chinese are strict care-taker of dogs and feed
them well as it is believed that the second day is the birthday of all dogs.

Day 3 and 4: These are very important days for the families to keep up their relations. It calls for every son-in-law to pay
respect to their parents-in-law.

Day 5: The fifth day is called Poo Woo.On this day people stay at home to welcome the God of Wealth.No one visits families
and friends on this day because it will bring both parties bad luck.

Day 6 - 10: On these days,Chinese visit their relatives and friends freely.They also visit the temples to pray for good and fortune and health.

Day 7: The 7th day of the New Year is the day for farmers to dispaly their produce.These farmers make a drink from seven
types of vegetables to celebrate the occasion.This day is also considered as the birthday of human beings.The Chinese eat Noodles
on this day to promote longevity and raw fish for success.

Day 8: This is the another day to celebrate with families and friends .They also offer midnight prayers to Tian Gong,the God of Heaven.

Day 9: On this ady the Chinese offer prayers to Jade Emperor.

Day 10 - 13: From 10 to 12th day the Chinese invite their friends and relatives for dinner.On 13th day they will have a 'Rice Congee'.
and mustard Greens (Choi Sum) to clense the system.

Day 14: People start preparing for the celebration of Lantern Festival to be held on next day.

Day 15: Since it is the first night to see full moon, people hang out colorful lanterns, eat glutinous rice balls and enjoy the
day with their families.

Traditional New Year Foods
Probably more food is consumed during the New Year celebrations than any other time of the year. Vast amounts of traditional food is prepared for family and friends, as well as those close to us who have died.
On New Year's Day, the Chinese family will eat a vegetarian dish called 'Jai'.The ingridents of Jai are: Root Vegetables,Lotus Seed,Ginkgo Nut,Black mass seaweed,Dried Bean Curd and Bamboo Shoots. Other foods include a whole fish, to represent togetherness and abundance, and a chicken for prosperity.
The chicken must be presented with a head, tail and feet to symbolize completeness.

Chinese New Year Traditions and Decorations
For New Year,Chinese clean their houses,get their hair cut,and buy new clothes.They also light up their houses .
They use red color in all their decorations which is very considered auspicious.