Chinese New Year

      Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is often called the Lunar New Year, especially by people in mainland China and Taiwan. They are also celebrated in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos, Philippines, and Canada. Chinese New Year is also celebrated in Chinatowns across the United States plus the city in San Francisco. The closest Chinese New Year Celebration is at North American Chinese School, West Bend, Wisconsin. It is equivalent to Christmas in the western culture.


   
    Prosperity, Spring, and fullness.

   
    Professional printed Chinese New Year Words

      Chinese will decorate their homes with Words like Prosperity, Spring, Happiness and Happy New Year etc.

      Chinese New Year is celebrated up to 14 days. The eve last day is called "ChuXi". During the last day,family members and relatives will get to gather and have huge meals. All family and relatives will come back "Home" to have family gathering. There will be plentiful of food and drinks. The bottom line is family that stays together sticks together. This last day is very similar to "Thanks giving" in the US.

      Note: You are not supposed to finish the all the food but have leftovers. We believe that the food means money. Thus, the leftover means that you will have a lot of money to spend for the whole year


   Fireworks and firecrackers

      The invention of gunpowder is usually attributed to Chinese alchemy, and is popularly listed as one of the "Four Great Inventions" of China. The invention was made perhaps as early as during the Tang Dynasty (9th century), but certainly by the Song Dynasty (11th century). Knowledge of gunpowder spread throughout the Old World as a result of the Mongol conquests of the 13th century. It was employed in warfare to some effect from at least the 14th century, although the development of effective artillery took place during the 15th century, and firearms came to dominate Early Modern warfare in Europe by the 17th century. Initial used by the Chinese is for firecrackers and fireworks.


   
    Chinese Firecrackers

   
    Mystical Chinese Dragon that brings rain

   Two Beliefs: "Gong Xi" and the "Chinese Dragon".

      Once upon a time, a great evil monster often visit a Chinese village at the start of the year. The monster loved to eat children and villagers were very afraid their children would become the moster's meal plan. The elders and the villagers decided to work as a team and form a plan. When the monster arrived at the beginning of the year, the villagers lighted up firecrackers, strucked their gongs and drums, and made plenty of noises. The evil monster never returned and the villages were really happy. They did a head count and no children were eaten by the evil monster. The adults greeted the kids with "Gongxi". It means that "Congratulations, you are not eaten by the evil monster". However, today, the same words mean "Happy New Year!".

      One popular belief is that the noise will wake up the dragon that will fly across the sky to bring the spring rain for the crops. Being a country where majority of the people depend on agriculture, timely arrival of rain is of great importance.


   
    Tea Ceremony

   
    Red Packet

   Tea Ceremony

      At the tea ceremony, all children are to bring cups of tea to their parents with two hands and thank their parents for their gratitudes and hardworks. Without our parents, we will not be who we are. Parents have put in great sacrifices to teach and take care of us.

       In return, after drinking the cups of tea, parents will give red packets and tangerines to their kids. Red packets contain money and tangerines symbolizes Gold. Kids love the red packets.


   
    Chinese New Year Cookies

   
    Chinese New Year Cuisine
2011 Chinese New Year Celebration

   Traditions

      During the Chinese New year, friends and relatives visit one another and shower with tangerines("gold"), food and candies("bring good fortune"). Sacred lion dances are performed in companies and public places to scare away evil spirits and bring good luck and fortunes for the coming year.Other southern cities in China may perform dragon dances so that these dragons will bring rain, great harvest and prosperity for the coming year.


   
    Chinese Lantern Project

   
    Chinese Dragon Project

      The last day of the Chinese New Year is called Lantern Festivals. Children will lit up lanterns and visit friends and relatives


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