Sunday, March 16, 2008

Chinese Lunar New Year

Chinese New Year Traditions
Written by: Jennifer Zhang

"Out with the old and in with the new” is the definition of Chinese New Year. The goal of this holiday is so everyone can have a fresh start and so everyone can start off the New Year with positive energy that will last for the rest of the year. Other names for Chinese New Year include: Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival.

Chinese New Year falls on a different date each year because it is based on the combination of the lunar calendar and the solar movements. It usually occurs in January or February. For the year 2008, Chinese New Year will be on February 7, which is the year of the rat when associated with the Chinese Zodiac.

Chinese New Year is so everyone may get a fresh start in life with positively flying around, but the events that people do on New Year's Day can impact someone's whole life for the rest of the year. Some things to watch for are to: be careful with one's actions, be selective with what one eat, greet people with joy and wish them prosperity. If these guidelines are followed, the chance is that one's life would be prosperous and healthy for one's family and work place.

Everything associated with the New Year should represent good fortune. There are different wishes for different people. One should wish for the best for everyone on this day. To singles, it may mean love and romance, while students would look for good grades. The sick may look for a healthy year and a cure, while the unemployed would look for jobs.

To make sure that one may have a good year, there are guidelines that one must follow. There is a process of how to act and what to do before New Years and on the day of the New Year. Before Chinese New Year a family should: clean the entire house, put away all brooms and brushes, pay all debts, resolve differences with families and friends, buy red envelopes, oranges, tangerines, Chinese candy, flowers, and new clothing. On New Year's Eve a family should have a reunion dinner, pay respects to ancestors and household gods, and open all windows to dispose of the old year. At Chinese New Year a family should decorate their house with symbols of good fortune (use colors like red, which stands for happiness and orange for wealth). Other symbols include oranges (good health and long life), persimmons (happiness and wealth), circular candy (togetherness), flowers (blooming year), and red banners with good wishes written on them.

Chinese New Year is not only about a new start, but it is also about family and the togetherness of one's family. It is a great time for reunion. Relatives come together to cook a simple meal and laughter is shared in the room. It is a really warm feeling and plus the food is great. Teen'Zine would like to wish everyone a Happy Chinese New Year 2008, year of the rat.

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