Chinese New Year
The biggest holiday celebrated by the Chinese is the Chinese New Year, which is also known as the Lunar New Year.
The 2008 Chinese New Year is the Year of the Rat and is celebrated on February 7th. It celebrates the first day of the Chinese Lunar Calendar and is the most important yearly festival for the Chinese. Each year is named after one of the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac.
Year of the Rat
This Chinese New Year, we are transitioning from the Year of the Boar to the Year of the Rat. People born in the Year of the Rat are supposed to be leaders, pioneers and conquerors who are charismatic, practical and hardworking. Famour Rats include Carmen Electra, Eminem, Avril Lavigne, and William Shakespeare.
How to Prepare
Days before the New Year, families give their houses a good cleaning. Lots of people even paint their doors and windowpanes - usually red. Red is a popular New Year's color and it symbolizes happiness. People will also decorate their houses, pay debts, say some prayers and, of course, prepare tons of food. Early in the morning, children get cash wrapped in red paper packages. This money is supposed to bring good luck. Then the family goes door-to-door saying greetings before spending time with family and loved ones at home.
New Year's Eve Traditions
After the Chinese New Year's Eve dinner, you're not supposed to sweep anything out. In fact, brooms should be put away so you don't sweep out your luck. Knives are also put away, along with scissors, so you don't cut your luck. You can't take the trash out on New Year's Eve either, in case your luck goes out with the garbage. The Chinese New Year wouldn't be the same without firecrackers. Legend has it that by setting off firecrackers, evil energy is driven away and there will be peace and good fortune.
I am celebrating Chinese New Year's Eve today by going to my aunt's house. On Chinese New Year, I am going to get a lot of money. I have a Chinese New Year outfit that I wear for Chinese New Year. Even though I have to go to Chinese School on Chinese New Year, it won't be that bad because we aren't studying anything, we are just getting are midterm test back and then we are going to a parade.
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Are you celebrating Chinese New Year? Tell us about it.