Celebrate Chinese New Year from January 31st-Feb 14th 2014
Celebrate Chinese New Year
Did you know this Chinese New Year 2014 is the 'Year of the 'Horse'. I was fascinated while reading the history. I had always known there was 12 months and 12 different animals. So while reading, I found out why. Legend has it that Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on the Chinese New Year. 12 animals showed up so he named one for each month. Depending on what year you are born, you take on certain traits and personalities. The 12 animals are the horse, rat, ox, snake, monkey, tiger, rabbit, dragon, goat, rooster, dog, and pig.
Chinese New Year is the longest holiday celebrated every year as it goes for 15 days and starts on the darkest day of the lunar phase and goes until the brightest day in the first month (January-February).
People usually wear red clothing, like to decorate with lanterns, birds, flowers and zodiac signs. Poems are printed on red paper and red envelopes with lucky money are given to children.
On the 15th day, the Lantern Ceremony is performed by carrying lanterns or sometimes the dragon dance where 6+ people will carry the big silk dragon. I have seen this performed in Los Angeles during parades and it is amazing. Sometimes the lanterns are lit and carried on the 15th night which is a full moon.
Fireworks are sometimes displayed which comes from the tradition where bamboo stalks were lit as they crackled and flamed up. This fire was believed to fight of the evil spirits.
To celebrate the Chinese New Year, people meet at other homes for family reunions or with friends. This is a tradition that has been passed down for hundreds of years.
Many people like to give boxed almond cookies to celebrate the holiday.
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