The Chinese New Year - often called Chinese Lunar New Year although it actually is lunisolar - is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. Despite its winter occurrence, in China it is known as "Spring Festival."The festival begins on the first day of the first month in the traditional Chinese calendar and ends with Lantern Festival which is on the 15th day. Spring Festival is a very important occasion for the Chinese people, and it is a time for families to be together. So no matter how far away people are, they will try their best to go home and spend the festival with their families is known as Chú Xī or "Eve of the Passing Year."
Chinese New Year is the longest and most important festivity in the Chinese Lunisolar Calendar. The origin of Chinese New Year is itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. The Ancient Chinese New Year is a reflection on how the people behaved and what they believed in the most.Spring Festival is a very important occasion for the Chinese people, and it is a time for families to be together. So no matter how far away people are, they will try their best to go home and spend the festival with their families.
Chinese New Year is celebrated in countries and territories with significant Chinese populations, such as Mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore,Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and also in Chinatowns elsewhere. Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had influence on the new year celebrations of its geographic neighbors, as well as cultures with whom the Chinese have had extensive interaction. These include Koreans (Seollal), Tibetans and Bhutanese (Losar), Mongolians (Tsagaan Sar), Vietnamese (Tết), and the Japanese before 1873 (Oshogatsu).
In countries such as Australia, Canada and the United States, although Chinese New Year 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. Within China, regional customs and traditions concerning the celebration of the Chinese new year vary widely. People will pour out their money to buy presents, decoration, material, food, and clothing. It is also the tradition that every family thoroughly cleans the house to sweep away any ill-fortune in hopes to make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors will be decorated with red colour paper-cuts and couplets with popular themes of "happiness", "wealth", and "longevity". 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.
This year 2011 is the year of the Rabbit. =)
Traditionally, Red envelopes or red packets are passed out during the Chinese New Year's celebrations, from married couples or the elderly to unmarried juniors. It is also common for adults or young couples to give red packets to children. Red packets almost always contain money, usually varying from a couple of dollars to several hundred. Per custom, the amount of money in the red packets should be of even numbers. The number 8 is considered lucky (for its homophone for "wealth"), and $8 is commonly found in the red envelopes in the US. The number six is also very lucky as it sounds like 'smooth' , in the sense of having a smooth year. Sometimes chocolate coins are found in the red packets.
Bamboo stems filled with gunpowder that were burnt to create small explosions were once used in ancient China to drive away evil spirits. In modern times, this method has eventually evolved into the use of firecrackers during the festive season. Firecrackers are usually strung on a long fused string so it can be hung down. Each firecracker is rolled up in red papers, as red is auspicious, with gunpowder in its core. Once ignited, the firecracker lets out a loud popping noise and, as they are usually strung together by the hundreds, the firecrackers are known for their deafening explosions that are thought to scare away evil spirits.
The burning of firecrackers also signifies a joyful time of year and has become an integral aspect of Chinese New Year celebrations. In Singapore, a partial ban on firecrackers was imposed in March 1970 after a fire killed six people and injured 68. This was extended to a total ban in August 1972, after an explosion that killed two people and an attack on two police officers attempting to stop a group from letting off firecrackers in February 1972. However, in 2003, the government allowed firecrackers to be set off during the festive season.
At the Chinese New Year light-up in Chinatown, at the stroke of midnight on the first day of the Chinese New Year, firecrackers are set off under controlled conditions by the Singapore Tourism Board with assistance from demolition experts from the Singapore Armed Forces. Other occasions where firecrackers are allowed to be set off are determined by the tourism board or other government organizations. However, they are not allowed to be commercially sold. In Malaysia – firecrackers are banned for the similar reasons as in Singapore. However, many Malaysians manage to smuggle them from Thailand to meet their private needs.
Spring Festival Greetings
I found it and copypaste here because I really want to know and share about CNY with you all.... Malaysia is full with different cutures and unique celebrations. I Love Malaysia! <3
Anyways, Happy Chinese New Year and Gong Xi Fa Chai to all especially to my best friend at British Council - Yin Yin and Leo!!! (^_^)