Wednesday, February 2, 2011
YEAR OF THE RABBIT
Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year of the Rabbit starts today, 3 February 2011. The year will be 4709 on the Chinese Calendar. Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival.
Chinese New Year is the main Chinese festival of the year and it is not a religious event. We explain some of the traditions and stories linked to this celebration.
As the Chinese use the Lunar calendar for their festivals the date of Chinese New Year changes from year to year. The date corresponds to the new moon (black moon) in either late January or February. Traditionally celebrations last for fifteen days, ending on the date of the full moon. In China the public holiday lasts for three days and this is the biggest celebration of the year.
The Year of the Rabbit
The Chinese calendar is different from that used in the United Kingdom. It is made up of a cycle of twelve years, each of them being named after an animal. This is very like our signs of the zodiac. Some people believe that people born in a particular year such as the year of the Dog will have some of the characteristics of that animal.
Over a sixth of the people in the world celebrate Chinese New Year. Customs vary in different parts of the world, but everywhere the main idea is the same. It is a time to remember the family and wish everyone peace and prosperity in the coming year. Find out more about the customs.
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