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People's Daily Online>>China Society

To celebrate Lunar New Year like Chinese

(Xinhua)

13:02, January 22, 2012

The eight-year-old boy Zhang Siqi (C) delivers dumplings to an aged person in Liuminying Village of Daxing District in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 22, 2012, the last day of China's Lunar Year of Rabbit. A dumpling feast with the participation of about 1,000 people was held in the village on Sunday to greet the traditional Chinese Spring Festival. (Xinhua/Zhao Wanwei)

BEIJING, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinese will begin on Jan. 23 celebrating the lunar New Year, or the Spring Festival. Most Chinese follow the traditional cultural elements and customs in the most festive season every year.

YEAR OF DRAGON

The Spring Festival this year marks the beginning of the "Year of the Dragon," according to the Chinese Zodiac which assigns one animal, either real or fabricated, to each year, repeating every 12 years. The dragon ranks fifth in the Chinese Zodiac, preceded by the rabbit and followed by the snake.

Unlike the fire-breathing monster depicted in Western mythology, the Chinese dragon is portrayed as a snake-shaped figure with deer-like horns and four claws. The dragon had symbolic meaning for ancient royal families and was worshiped as a "water god" in regions prone to floods and droughts.

People born in the year of the dragon are wished to be ambitious, adventurous and brave.

FIREWORKS, LANTERNS, COUPLETS

Most people stay up late on the eve of the Chinese New Year, watching TV gala, eating snacks and cozying up with their families. Those who choose to go to bed early are often woken up at midnight by fireworks noise, which continue for many days thereafter.

The fireworks and the red decorations in front of many homes and businesses were originally intended to scare away the "Nian" (year in Chinese), a mythical beast supposed to have preyed on people and livestock at the turn of the year. The monster, however, was afraid of bangs and the red color.

Although few now believe existence of the monster, Chinese families carry on the tradition of hanging red lanterns, setting off fireworks and fixing red scrolls with rhyming phrases on their doors, hoping all the items can ward off evil spirits and bring in good luck.

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:陈丽丹)

Leave your comment8 comments

  1. Name

PD User at 2012-01-2592.14.34.*
good explanation. Wishing everyone a prosperous and happy New Year go the Dragon
PD User at 2012-01-2469.158.18.*
Happy New Year to all Chinese people all over the world
李素,布拉格 at 2012-01-2378.80.26.*
祝中国人民龙年好,恭喜发财,万事如意!
Friend from Canada at 2012-01-2370.53.76.*
Happy New Year, happy year of the dragon! I wish people of China good luck, and peace and prosperity for new year.
romanov at 2012-01-2380.94.16.*
2012-1-22.Wishing all Chinese and Daily People happines and all prosperity in live private"s and a career.Happy Year of Dragon.To come time China.
  

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