Chinese New Year

The ox, snake, monkey, tiger and the dragon are not just animals from the wildlife but form a part of the Chinese year carrying great significance for all. Yes, it is the Chinese New Year and the celebrations are highly spirited and visually enticing. Chinese New Year is the most important festival of the Chinese tradition and is also called the Lunar New Year. Traditionally the festival begins on the first day of the lunar month and ends on the 15th and is called Lantern Festival.

The Chinese calendar determines the Chinese New Year dates. Each Chinese year is associated with an animal zodiac and heavenly stems. Each animal zodiac has a cycle of twelve years and the 10 year cycle of heavenly stems that are associated with the five elements of nature. Each of the heavenly stems is rotated every two years with the ying and yang alternating each year. On the eve of the New Year there is feast with family with the most popular Chinese New Year’s food, fish lay on the table. It is sort of reunion dinner for families. People clean their houses symbolizing driving of the evil spirits and bad luck from their homes and inviting goodness to come in. On the new day of the New Year people welcome the Gods and pray to their ancestors for the blessings. On the second day married women visit their maiden house. Visiting friends and families on the New Year is a common tradition associated with this day. People burn fire crackers and invite lion or dragon dance troupes to perform; as a ritual to usher in the Lunar Year. Another custom is the passing of red packets to unmarried by elders and married couples; these generally contain money in even number and are considered to bring good luck.

The Chinese New Year is a colorful celebration and the festivity includes New Year’s parade, elaborate decoration, traditional songs and music, fire crackers and parties. From the astrology and horoscope perspective too the Chinese New Year, zodiac animals have a lot of significance determining what the forthcoming year has in store for them. This is the time to exchange gifts, greeting cards and send friends and acquaintances warm wishes for the coming year. Send free online ecards to all your loved ones wishing them happiness and prosperity in life.

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