Chinese New Year 2009 Approaches
This year’s Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar new year, falls on the 26th day of January, or three days from now. This is also the time when most Chinese people around the world celebrate the festival in the company of their families and loved ones during the Chinese New Year’s Eve.
The Chinese New Year begins on the first day of the first lunar month in the Chinese calendar. Celebrated as the Spring Festival by some, it can last upto 15 days culminating at the last day – the Lantern Festival.
With the calendar having a twelve-year cycle, they named each of those years after an animal. It is also said that people born within those years each share different traits associated to the animal symbol. For this year, it is the year of the Ox which is a symbol for prosperity earned through determination and hard work. What a timely reminder for the tough year ahead characterized by recessions and economic slow down.
Traditions that have been carried on through the generations include lighting of colorful lanterns in houses and eating of traditional rice cakes. In more traditional places especially in China, the occasion may involve traditional folk songs and dance performances.
In the Philippines, the Chinese New Year is best characterized by Lion / Dragon dances performed on the streets. Chinese families gather together, usually at the house of the elders, where they eat new-year-significant Chinese food such as “tikoy” (sweet rice cake) for closer family ties. “Ang-pao” (red bag) or money placed in a glittering red envelope is given by older folks to young children as a symbol of prosperity.
But whatever rituals and traditions are practiced, the Chinese New Year festival surely emanates the message of togetherness, abundance, and blessings.
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