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.
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 Years Eve and New Years Day celebrations
Members of the family would gather in evening for a prestigious family
supper of the New Years 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 ones 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