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Spring Festival (Chinese New Year)
Date:2013-09-10 18:10 From:yanzhu 【Print】 【Closed】 【Collection
Chinese Spring Festival, also called Lunar New Year, has more than 4,000 years of history. Being one of the traditional Chinese festivals, it is the grandest and the most important festival for Chinese people. It is also the time for the whole families to get together, which is similar with Christmas Day to the westerners. Originating during the Shang Dynasty (about 17th - 11th century BC), Spring Festival, which celebrates family reunion, is full of rich and colorful activities, and hopes with the advent of spring and flowers blossoming. People from different regions and different ethnic groups celebrate it in their unique ways.
 Festival Time
Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) - Chinese Course in shanghaiIt comes on the first day of Chinese lunar calendar and lasts for almost half of a month. But in folk custom, this traditional holiday lasts from the 23rd day of the twelfth month to the 15th day of the first month (Lantern Festival) in the lunar calendar. Among these days, the New Year’s Eve and the first day of the New Year is the peak time. The exact days are different in every year according to the lunar calendar. Schedule of Spring Festival in recent years is offered in the following table. 
Year Date Holiday Chinese Zodiac
2011 February 3 February 2 - 8 Rabbit
2012 January 23 January 22 - 28 Dragon
2013 February 10 February 9 - 15 Snake
2014 January 31 January 30 - February 5 Horse
2015 February 19 February 18 - 24 Sheep
2016 February 8 February 7 - 13 Monkey
Festival Couplets and Decorations
Couplets and Decorations History 
It is said that the custom of Spring Festival started in when people offered sacrifice to ancestors in the last month of Chinese lunar calendar. At that time, people prepared the sacrifice by doing thorough cleaning, having bathes and so on. Later, people began to worship different deities as well on that day. It is the time that almost all the farm works were done and people have free time. The sacrificing time changed according to the farming schedule and was not fixed until the Han Dynasty (202BC-220AD). The customs of worshipping deities and ancestors remains even though the ceremonies are not as grand as before. It is also the time that spring is coming, so people held all kinds of ceremonies to welcome it. 
There are many legends about Spring Festival in Chinese culture. In folk culture, it is also called “guonian” (meaning “passing a year”). It is said that the “nian” (year) was a strong monster which was fierce and cruel and ate one kind of animal including human being a day. Human beings were scared about it and had to hide on the evening when the “nian” came out. Later, people found that “nian” was very scared about the red color and fireworks. So after that, people use red color and fireworks or firecrackers to drive away “nian”. As a result, the custom of using red color and setting off fireworks remains. 上一篇:Dongzhi / Winter Solstice Festival 冬至 下一篇:Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival Dates