Chinese New Year is February 10!
Chinese New Year is as important to China as Christmas is to many Western nations, and the same basic ideas are upheld; the holiday is all about being with your loved ones, giving gifts, and eating food!
Since the 20th Century, Chinese New Year has been referred to as Spring Festival. This continues to be the most integral social and economic holiday in China. Chinese New Year lands on a different day each year, and the Year of the Snake begins on February 10, 2013. The holiday always lasts 15 days, with different celebrations and traditions for each day.
Legend says a beast called Nian would terrorize ancient Chinese towns and eat people. The townspeople were able to make the beast go away with loud firecrackers and bright red decorations (red is thought of as a lucky color by the Chinese). A more reasonable explanation behind Chinese New Year is that it originated as an end-of-harvest celebration where people would give thanks to the gods and celebrate the end of winter and beginning of spring.
Some common Chinese New Year traditions are Jie Cai Ceng, Yuan Xiao Jie, Hong Bao, and the Dancing Dragons. Jie Cai Ceng is when business owners set off firecrackers to welcome the gods of Wealth and Prosperity. Yuan Xiao Jie is the Festival of Lanterns that marks the end of Chinese New Year. Red Envelopes filled with money called Hong Bao are given to children and unmarried adults. The dancing dragons represent prosperity and good fortune.
Celebrate Chinese New Year by learning about some great Chinese New Year recipes and what each food symbolizes.