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Holidays

Chinese New Year

Chinese Dragon from dragon dance
What does Chinese New Year celebrate?

The Chinese New Year celebrates the first day of the first month on the Chinese calendar. It is also called the Spring Festival and is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays.

When is Chinese New Year celebrated?

The Chinese New Year occurs on the first day of the Chinese lunar-solar calendar. The celebration lasts until the 15th day which is also the day of the Lantern Festival.

The dates according to the Western calendar of the Chinese New Year move each year, but always land between January 21st and February 20th. Each year also has an animal associated with it. Here are some of the dates as well as the animals associated with that year: Who celebrates this day?

This day is celebrated by all of China as well as Chinese people throughout the world.

What do people do to celebrate?

The entire first week is usually a national holiday in China. Many people take vacations for the week. The largest celebration is on the night before the start of the Chinese New Year. This night is celebrated with parties and fireworks.

The New Year is also an important time for the Chinese to celebrate family and to honor their elders such as parents and grandparents.

There are a number of traditions celebrated during Chinese New Year: History of Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year has been celebrated in China for thousands of years. The original story tells of a lion-like monster named Nian that terrorized Chinese villagers. One year, a wise monk advised the villagers to use loud noises along with red paper cutouts hung over their doors to scare Nian away. This worked and the villagers were able to defeat Nian. The day that Nian was defeated became the start of the New Year.

In 1912 the Chinese government moved to the western Gregorian calendar. Because January 1st was now the start of the year, they changed the name of Chinese New Year to the Spring Festival. In 1949, when Mao Zedong founded the People's Republic of China, he felt the celebration as too religious. As a result, the holiday wasn't celebrated on mainland China for many years. However, with reforms in the late 1980s, the festival was resumed. Today it is once again the most popular holiday in China.

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