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Monday, January 25, 2010

Chinese New Year Is Coming…

Some people may know that the date of Chinese New Year is not on January 1st and maybe a few people also get that the date of Chinese New Year varies every year. That’s correct, because the date is based on lunar calendar rather than the solar calendar. In 2010, it’s very coincident on the same day with Western Valentine’s Day. What do Chinese people do on that day? And how do we celebrate it?

The previous evening before Chinese New Year is called Chinese New Year Eve, it’s similar to the Christmas Eve. Most people do not have to work in that evening and all family members have a yearly reunion. In the past, people eat and drink at home. But recently, more and more people go out to restaurants for dinner. Thus they can enjoy the meal and without wasting time on preparing it. During the dinner, there is a very important activity called “red envelope giving”. The elders will give a red envelope (looks like below one)

to each younger with cash inside ranges from $200 to $10,000 or higher Taiwan dollars (about $6.7 to $333.3+ US dollars) depends on their economic conditions. And every adult will also give red envelopes to not only their children but also their parents which burn a hole in their pockets. However, it makes everyone happy. You can check out this website to see the flash introduction about the origins of some Chinese festivals. (The website's interface language is Chinese, click on the up-left button to see the origin of Chinese New Year.)
Chinese Festivals

You should already notice that there is a tiger on the cover of the red envelope above, it’s not just a meaningless picture, it’s because the coming Chinese New Year is so-called Tiger Year. Tiger is one of the twelve animals for indicating each special Chinese year, and they take turns in this order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Ram, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. If you are interested in this, a book written by a popular author can tell you more.
Chinese New Year Gift

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