From ancient times, Chinese follow lunar calendar to decide when their new year begins. Every Chinese new year belongs to an animal and is numbered differently. This Chinese year 4711 begins on Feb. 10, 2013, and is the year of the snake.
Chinese New Year is the most important festival in Chinese tradition. It is the time when families get together to celebrate. They clean their homes and brighten them up with red colour decorations. According to a Chinese legend, a ferocious beast – Nian, appeared on every New Year’s day to eat livestock, crops, and even villagers, especially children. One time, people saw that the Nian was scared away by a little child wearing red. The villagers understood that the Nian was afraid of the color red. Hence, every time when the New Year was about to come, the villagers would hang red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. People also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nian. From then on, Nian never came to the village again.
To conclude the new years celebrations, the lantern festival is held on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month . The lantern festival showcases the famous dragon dance where dragons made of silk, paper, and bamboo are sometimes hundreds of feet long.
Let us wish Chinese people across the world a fantastic new year!!