Chinese New Year or the Chinese Lunar New Year is the most important of the “Traditional Chinese holidays”. Despite its winter occurrence, in China it is known as “Spring Festival,” the literal translation of the Chinese name Chūn Jié, owing to the difference between Western and traditional Chinese methods for computing the seasons. The festival begins on the first day of the first month in the traditional Chinese calendar and ends with Lantern Festival which is on the 15th day. Chinese New Year’s Eve, a day where Chinese families gather for their annual reunion dinner, is known as Chú Xī or “Eve of the Passing Year.”
Chinese New Year is the longest and most important festivity in the Chinese Lunar Calendar. The origin of Chinese New Year is itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. Ancient Chinese New Year is a reflection on how the people behaved and what they believed in the most.
Within China, regional customs and traditions concerning the celebration of the Chinese New Year vary widely. People will pour out their money to buy presents, decoration, material, food, and clothing. It is also the tradition that every family thoroughly cleans the house to sweep away any ill-fortune in hopes to make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors will be decorated with red color paper-cutsand couplets with popular themes of “happiness”, “wealth”, and “longevity”. On the Eve of Chinese New Year, supper is a feast with families. Food will include such items as pigs, ducks, chicken and sweet delicacies. The family will end the night with firecrackers. Early the next morning, children will greet their parents by wishing them a healthy and happy new year, and receive money in red paper envelopes. The Chinese New Year tradition is a great way to reconcile; forgetting all grudges, and sincerely wishes peace and happiness for everyone.
This year’s Chinese New Year is the year of the rabbit. Rabbit is the fourth of the 12 Chinese Zodiac signs, in the sequence of rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, roster, dog and pig.
The 2011 Rabbit year is very special year for Chinese culture. In Chinese tradition, rabbit can be used to symbolize the moon. Ancient Chinese believed there was a rabbit living on the moon. The rabbit called in Chinese the Jade Rabbit or the Moon Rabbit, is a companion of the Moon Goddess who never grows old. It makes medicine by grinding herb with a mortar and pestle.
According to Chinese tradition, the Rabbit brings a year in which you can catch your breath and calm your nerves. It is a time for negotiation. Don’t try to force issues, because if you do you will ultimately fail. To gain the greatest benefits from this time, focus on home, family, security, diplomacy, and your relationships with women and children. Make it a goal to create a safe, peaceful lifestyle, so you will be able to calmly deal with any problem that may arise.
People born in the Year of the Rabbit share certain characteristics: Keen, wise, fragile, tranquil, serene, considerate, fashionable, and kind. Generally, they are quite calm, do not exhibit aggressive behavior, and will avoid confrontation at all costs. When angry about something, they will approach it calmly and considerately, hardly ever raising their voice. And they are quite keen and pay close attention to the situations developing around them. They are intelligent and quick, and can talk themselves in or out of most situations with no problem.
The Rabbit is a symbol for mercy, elegance, and worship of beauty. People born in the Year of the Rabbit are kind, loving persons, and dislike any hostile act. They give others an impression of being frail-looking because of their gentle appearance. But, in fact they are strong-minded and have strong wills. They pursue their ideals all their lives in a precise and orderly way. They do things slowly and deliberately because of their cautious characters.
Traditions in Chinese cultures have special place in Chinese people’s lives. Best wishes for the 2011 Rabbit Chinese New Year and Happy New Year to all the Chinese People everywhere in the world.
*Image graphics gotten from Search engine: Google