Chinese New Year Celebration Begins
The Chinese New Year is the most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. Also known as the Chinese Spring Festival, it has a rich tradition going back over 4,000 years to the Shang Dynasty (17th – 11th century BC). The festival scheduled for 31st January, 2014 will be marking the beginning of the Chinese year 4712.
Each Chinese year has an animal associated with it. According to Chinese Legend, Buddha summoned all the animals to meet him on the Chinese New Year. However, all animals except 12 shunned the invitation. Buddha honored the 12 animals by naming one year after each of the animals. Among the animals which came were the horse, dragon, sheep, snake, and others.
People born in each animal’s year possess some personality traits which are associated with the animal. The upcoming New Year is the year of the horse. People born in this year are perceptive, witty, cheerful, talented, skilful with money and good with their hands. Some famous personalities born in the year of the horse include Harrison Ford, Theodore Roosevelt, Aretha Franklin and Chopin.
Fireworks and Red Decor
The Chinese New Year heavily features red-themed decorations and spectacular fireworks displays. People wear red clothes; decorate their homes with red garlands and poems calligraphed on red paper, and give their children the “lucky monkey” in red envelopes. The red symbolizes fire which in Chinese legend is believed to drive away bad luck. The fireworks are also rooted in ancient custom. In ancient China, people lit up bamboo stalks to frighten away evil spirits with their crackling flames.
The Lantern Festival
Taking place on the 15th day of the New Year, the Lantern Festival is the highlight of the festivities. It is also one the most colorful and delightful spectacles to watch. People make colorful lanterns painted with pictures of birds, animals, signs of the zodiac, and scenes from legends. They hang some of these glowing lanterns in temples, and carry others in an evening procession under the brilliant light of the full moon.
The real spectacle of the lantern festival is the dragon dance. This features a colorful dragon made out of silk, paper and sticks of bamboo. The dragon is held aloft by young men who dance, play and skip along as they guide the magnificent beast through the streets. They are greeted with cheers and screams of delight from awed crowds lining the extravagantly decorated streets.
Feasts and Family
The Chinese New Year is a time of family reunion, celebration and feasting. It is common for all the family members to gather together in one home to share meals and wish each other blessings for the coming year. These family feasts feature extravagant servings of delicious dishes both hot and cold. One dish that is traditionally a staple in the celebrations is fish. It is believed that eating fish brings about prosperity in the New Year.
Best Places to Go
In China, there are variations of traditions and activities for celebrating the Chinese New Year. The easiest place to sample the celebrations is at your local Chinatown. However, if you want to experience the real atmosphere, some of the best places to go are Beijing, Xian and Guangzhou. You can find the flight information for these places at your favorite Airlines or your local tour and travel center. Happy Festivities!
Beijing Temple Fairs
The parks and temples of Beijing open there gates at spring festival for mio Hui, which involves fun, integrate social events, smidgen of spirituality and commerce.
HONG KONG FIREWORKS
As it’s common to stay away for months due to work from family, SPRING FESTIVAL is a time to congregate, cut loose, and blow things up. Fireworks (and firecrackers) are a sort of mass exhale, a collective banishment of the year’s tribulations.
Shanghai Lantern festival
Shanghai lantern festival is the last hurrah of the celebrations, where Chinese eat sticky sweet orbs of rice flour called tang Yuan, guess riddles inscribed on paper lanterns and explode any remaining munitions. In the park they provide opportunity to admire poetry and brush up Chinese mythology. It’s very special for children with lovable music, dances and foods.
HORSE racing in HONGKONG
As well as large mammals dashing about, the Hong Kong Jockey Club puts on a feng shui display in the forecourt and a variety show in the parade ring, featuring dragon and lion dances, and live appearances by TV personalities. As an hope to be one of the 1000 visitors to win 24-gold plated “fortune horse”, it started by British in 1840’s.