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Lion Dance at Chinese New Year FestivitiesChinese New Year starts with the New Moon on the first day of the New Year and ends on the full moon 15 days later of the lunar calendar. The corresponding date in the solar calendar varies from as early as January 21st to as late as February 19th. Chinese New Year, as the Western New Year, signifies as a turning over a new leaf - representing the importance of family ties, a time for family reunions.

The 15th day of the New Year is celebrated as a ‘Lantern Festival’, displaying thousands of lighting lantern at night and children carrying lanterns in a procession on streets.

Chinese Lunar Calendar
The Chinese calendar will often show the dates of both the Western calendar and the Chinese Lunar Calendar. The Western or Gregorian dates are written in Arabic numerals, and the Chinese dates in Chinese numerals.

The Chinese calendar is based on a movement of lunar and solar cycle. The lunar cycle is about 29.5 days, Chinese ads an additional month after few years-say 7 years after 19- year cycle to adjust the solar calendar. This is the same as adding an extra day on leap year. Due to this solar calendar, the Chinese New Year does not have any fixed date and falls on a different date each year.

Beating the Drum on New YearChinese New Year-A Traditional Celebration
The Chinese New Year is perhaps the most exciting, colorful, and resplendent festival of all Chinese celebrations. New Year's Eve and New Year's Day are celebrated with all rituals and with full enthusiasm. It is a family affair, a time of reunion and thanks giving occasion. The religious ceremony is traditionally performed with celebrations, in honor of Heaven and Earth, the gods of the household and the family ancestors. Common expressions heard at this time are Guonian to have made it through the Old Year, and Bainian to congratulate the New Year. Expired ones are remembered with due respect and honor, as they are the milestones, responsible for laying the foundations for the fortune and eminence of the family. The communal feast is organized at this occasion known as "surrounding the stove" or Weilu. It epitomizes the family unity and tribute the past and present generations.

The New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day celebrations
Members of the family would gather in evening for a prestigious family supper of the New Year’s Eve. At midnight, following the feast, the younger members of the family would bow and pay their respects to their parents and elders.

The New Year Day is of great importance to children, they are given Red Lai- See Envelopes- a good luck money wrapped in little red envelopes. On this day everyone wears on new clothes, and show on his finest manners. Telling a lie, raising up one’s tone, using indecent language, or break anything on the first day of the year considered as a disgraceful. People visit friends and relatives, taking with them gifts and Lai-See for the children. Traditional New Year delicacies are offered during this occasion, such as melon seeds, flowers, fruits and trays, along with Niangao - New Year cakes.

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