Happy Chinese Lunar New Year 新年快樂

Chinesae people around the world are celebrating Chinese Lunar New Year today.  The year of ‘Rat’ and it’s implying that people will be work harder and always busily pursuing a personal goal or ambition in this year.

Chinese New Year starts with the new moon on the first day of the New Year and ends on full moon 15days later.  The 15th day of the New Year is called Lantern Festival, which is celebrated at night lantern displaus and children carrying lanterns in a parade.

The Chinese calendar is based on a combination of lunar and solar movements.  The Lunar cycle is about 29.5days.  In order to ‘catch up’ with the solar calendar the Chinese insert an extra month once every few years (seven years our of a 19-years).  This is the same as adding an extra day on leap year.  This is why according to the solar calendar, the Chinese New Year falls on a different date each year.

New Year Eve and New Year’s day are celebrated as a family affair, a time of reunion and thanksgiving.  The celebrations was traditionally highlighted with a religious ceremony given in honor Heaven and Earth, the Gods of household and family ancestors.

The sacrifice to the ancestors, the most vital of all the rituals, united the living members with those who had passed away.  Departed relatives are remembered with great respect because they were responsible for laying the foundataion for the fortune and glory of the family.

The presence of the ancestors is acknowledged on New Year’s Eve with a dinner arranged for them at the family banquet table.  The spiritis of the ancestors , together with the living, celebrate the onset of the New Year as one great community.  The communal feast called ‘surrouding the stove’ it symblolizes family unity and honors the past present generations. 

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