Happy Chinese New Year!! Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is sometimes called the "Lunar New Year".
It's celebrated in countries and territories with significant Han Chinese populations, such as Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand. Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had influence on cultures with whom the Chinese have had extensive interaction.
Dragon Dance in Washington DC's Chinatown
In countries such as Australia, Canada and the United States, although is not an official holiday, many ethnic Chinese hold large celebrations and Australia Post, Canada Post, and the US Postal Service issue New Year's themed stamps.
A cute red money envelope
On the Eve of Chinese New Year, supper is a feast with families. Food will include such items as pigs, ducks, chicken and sweet delicacies. The family will end the night with firecrackers. Early the next morning, children will greet their parents by wishing them a healthy and happy new year, and receive money in red paper envelopes. The Chinese New Year tradition is a great way to reconcile forgetting all grudges, and sincerely wish peace and happiness for everyone.
Are you a Tiger?
The Lunar New Year dates from 2600 BC, when the Emperor Huang Ti introduced the first cycle of the Chinese zodiac.
Because of cyclical lunar dating, the first day of the year can fall anywhere between late January and the middle of February. On the Chinese calendar, 2010 is Lunar Year 4708.
On the Western calendar, the start of the New Year falls on Sunday, February 14, 2010 — The Year of the Tiger. This year, the date has special significance since it also happens to fall on Valentine's Day making it a doubly auspicious day to celebrate in the West.
If you were born in 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998 or 2010, you were born under the sign of the tiger. Like the tiger, you are one of the most caring and thoughtful signs in the Chinese Zodiac. You have a lot to say and the best way to right society's wrongs, and quite capable of defending children, friends, and loved ones against all enemies.
For the tiger in 2010, any recent setbacks or obstacles can be overcome, so look forward to a year in which to really shine, either personally or professionally.
Say bye-bye to last year's Ox and hello to the Tiger.