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In China the Chinese New Year is the so called “Spring festival” 春节 (chūnjié). For most Chinese it is the most important holiday in China. The Chinese New Year is celebrated at the turn of the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar. On this holiday all Chinese students, who study abroad, go back to China during their vacation time and spend time with their Families. The holiday usually lasts 15 days.
Unlike the western New Year, the Chinese New Year has nothing to do with western tradition. It is based on the lunar calendar. The traditional calendar has a 60 years cycle, the year 2017 is the 34th of the 60, which is the year of the rooster. The previous year of the rooster was 60 years ago in 1957. The Chinese New Year of 2018 will be the year of the dog.
The Legend and Tradition Behind the Chinese New Year
According to the history the Chinese New Year started with a beast called “Nian”. Nian did eat villagers, especially children. One day an old man managed to dispel Nian with firecrackers. On this day nobody was hurt and everything in the village remained unbroken. It made the people believe that Nian was afraid of the color red and fire crackers. Until today you can find a lot of red color on clothes, lanterns and decorations. The traditional idea behind it, is to dispel the monster Nian.
Typical traditional food is the rice cake 年糕 (niángāo). Besides of many other dishes like pork and chicken, red envelopes are passed during the Chinese New Year from married to unmarried couples or from couples to children. The red money 压岁钱 (yāsuìqián), means “the monster Sui expelling money”. It is so, because Nian is also known as Sui, it basically has two names in Chinese literature. Besides the red envelopes that are passed from older to young people, sweets and food are exchanged between friends.
Since the firecrackers had many negative outcomes like injuries in recent years, the government decided to ban fireckrackers in most urban areas since 2008.
The Year of The Dog
The dog is the number eleven of all zodiac animals. According to the legend, the order of the zodiac is chosen by a jade emperor. The animals which arrived first at his party, were the first animals in the zodiac. The previous years of the dog are 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 and this year 2018.
Dogs are loyal, they never abandon family and friends, a person born in the year of the dog, is a good friend for advice and support. Despite their appearance, dogs are sensitive and emotional animals. Since dogs are obidiend and love commands, a competitive job is the right choice for a dog.