<ul><li>What is Chinese New Year also called? </li></ul><ul><li>How to say Chinese New Year in Chinese? </li></ul><ul><li>What day is the first day of 2009 according to Chinese lunar calendar? </li></ul><ul><li>How long is Chinese New Year? </li></ul><ul><li>Why do Chinese people celebrate on Chinese New Year? </li></ul>
The Chinese Lunar New Year is the longest chronological record in history, dating from 2600BC. The Chinese Lunar Calendar is a yearly one, with the start of the lunar year being based on the cycles of the moon. Because of this cyclical dating, the beginning of the year can fall anywhere between late January and the middle of February. Chinese New Year starts 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, which is celebrated at night with lantern displays and children carrying lanterns in a parade.
The Origin of the lunar New Year Festival can be traced back thousands years, involving a series of colorful legends and traditions. One of the famous legend is Nian, an extremely cruel and ferocious beast that the ancients believed would devour people on New Year’s Eve.
<ul><li>All sharp tools (knives, etc). are hidden away since they may sever good fortune from the family. </li></ul><ul><li>No foul language or unlucky words because it will bring bad luck to the family. </li></ul><ul><li>Handle fragile item with care. If anything breaks, the family will break up or have seven years of bad luck. </li></ul>
Usually the preparation starts a month before the new year. The preparation includes thoroughly cleaning and decorating the house, buying new clothes, and preparing enough food. Instead of presents as in the West, the Chinese give gifts of money at Chinese New Year, at weddings and birthdays. The money is usually placed in a red packet/envelope decorated with an appropriate symbol, greeting or lucky sign.
Chinese New Year is also the time for socializing. People usually wear new clothes and go out to visit and greet their relatives and friends, so the streets are filled with a lot of cheerful people. The greeting and visiting can go on for a few days.
Firecrackers are set off as soon as the new year arrives. You can hear or see firecrackers everywhere and this usually lasts for a few hours. Traditionally fireworks are the sign of getting rid of the old and welcoming the new.
The dragon dance is an important festive tradition in China. It was originally performed to please the dragon, who is the deity of water, to ask for rain during drought years. Gradually it became an entertainment and dance form in festive occasions, usually during the Spring Festival and Lantern Festival. The 15th of the first month of Chinese New Year, marks the end of the New Year celebrations. It is the time for family reunion again, where families eat a kind of cake, which looks like a table tennis ball (a little smaller) made of sticky rice with sweet stuffing inside. Everyone eats a few on Lantern Festival, which symbolizes that the family will stick together.
The New Year's Eve is the time for families. The New Year Eve's dinner is the biggest dinner of the year, much like Thanksgiving dinner in the United States. The dinner is full of symbolic meaning, such as Chinese dumplings implying wealth since they have the shape of ancient Chinese gold or silver ingots. * Lotus seed - signify having many male offspring * Ginkgo nut - represents silver ingots * Black moss seaweed - is a homonym for exceeding in wealth * Dried bean curd is another homonym for fulfillment of wealth and happiness * Bamboo shoots - is a term which sounds like "wishing that everything would be well" * Fresh bean curd or tofu is not included as it is white and unlucky for New Year as the color signifies death and misfortune
The candy tray arranged in either a circle or octagon is called "The Tray of Togetherness" and has a dazzling array of candy to start the New Year sweetly. Each item represents some kind of good fortune. <ul><li>Candied melon - growth and good health </li></ul><ul><li>Red melon seed - dyed red to symbolize joy, happiness, truth and sincerity </li></ul><ul><li>Lychee nut - strong family relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Cumquat - prosperity (gold) </li></ul><ul><li>Coconut - togetherness </li></ul><ul><li>Peanuts - long life </li></ul><ul><li>Longnan - many good sons </li></ul><ul><li>Lotus seed - many children </li></ul>
1. Greeting sayings usually begins like this: If he or she is elder than you ,you should say: 祝您… (zhù nín …) Wish you … If he or she is younger than you ,you should say: 祝你… (zhù nǐ…) Wish you … 2. The “…” above can be replaced by these words, commonly they are phrases: 新年快乐 (xīn nián kuài lè) Happy New Year! 身体健康 (shēn tǐ jiàn kāng) health 万事如意 (wàn shì rú yì) everything is good 工作顺利 (gōng zuò shùn lì) work better 事业有成 (shì yè yǒu chéng) good career 学习进步 (xuéxí jìnbù) get progress in study 吉星高照 (jí xīng gāo zhào) luck 合家欢乐 (hé jiā huān lè) family 吉祥如意 (jí xiáng rú yì) everything is good 生意兴隆 (shēng yì xīng lóng) good business 3. Sentence: 祝您新年快乐，工作顺利！ (zhù nín xīn nián kuài lè, gōng zuò shùn lì.) 祝你学业有成，金榜提名！ (zhù nǐ xué yè yǒu chéng, jīn bǎng tí míng.)