1.31.2006

Happy Chinese New Year!

I forgot to post this on Sunday for the celebration of Chinese New Year, which kicked off the Year of the Dog!
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Chinese New Year 春節 or 農曆新年, also known as the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays . It consists of a period of celebrations, starting on New Year's Day, celebrated on the first day of the first month of the Chinese calendar. This is the day of the second new moon after the winter solstice, unless there is an intercalary eleventh or twelfth month in the lead-up to the New Year. In such a case, the New Year falls on the day of the third new moon after the solstice. (The next time this occurs is in 2033.) The Chinese New Year period ends with the Lantern Festival, on the fifteenth day of the festival. According to legend, in ancient China, Nian, a man-eating predatory beast could infiltrate houses silently. The Chinese learned that Nian was sensitive to loud noises and the color red, and so they scared it away with explosions, fireworks and the liberal use of the color red. These customs led to the first New Year celebrations.

Celebrated 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, Miao, Vietnamese, Tibetans, Nepalese and Bhutanese who were influenced by Chinese culture in terms of religious and philosophical worldview, language and culture in general. Chinese New Year is also the time when the largest human migration takes place when Chinese all around the world return home on the eve of Chinese New Year to have reunion dinners with their families.

Years of the Dog: 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006

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