Chinese New Year
The 2014 Chinese New Year is the Year of the Horse and is celebrated starting on January 31st. It celebrates the first day of the Chinese Lunar Calendar and is the most important yearly festival in Chinese culture. Each year is named after one of the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac.
Year of the Horse
This Chinese New Year, we are transitioning from the Year of the Snake to the Year of the Horse. People born in the Year of the Horse are supposed to be great communicators (that means you love to talk - and you're good at it!), smart, kind-hearted, charismatic, always trying to improve themselves, and cheerful but stubborn. Some famous horses include Oprah Winfrey, Kristen Stewart, Emma Watson and Kobe Bryant.
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.
Have Your Say
Are you celebrating Chinese New Year? Tell us about it.
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