Chinese New Year

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_New_Year

Chinese New Year or Spring Festival (simplified Chinese: 春节; traditional Chinese: 春節; pinyin: Chūnjié), or the Lunar New Year (simplified Chinese: 农历新年; traditional Chinese: 農曆新年; pinyin: Nónglì xīnnián), is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is an important holiday in East Asia. The festival traditionally begins on the first day of the first lunar month (Chinese: 正月; pinyin: zhēng yuè) in the Chinese calendar and ends on the 15th; this day is called Lantern Festival (simplified Chinese: 元宵节; traditional Chinese: 元宵節; pinyin: yuánxiāojié).

Chinese New Year’s Eve is known as Chúxī (除夕). Chu literally means “change” and xi means “Eve”.

Celebrated in areas with large populations of ethnic Chinese, Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had a strong influence on the new year celebrations of its geographic neighbours, as well as cultures with whom the Chinese have had extensive interaction. These include Koreans, Mongolians, Nepalese, Bhutanese, Vietnamese, and formerly the Japanese before 1873. In Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and other countries with significant Chinese populations, Chinese New Year is also celebrated, largely by overseas Chinese, but it is not part of the traditional culture of these countries. In Canada, although Chinese New Year is not an official holiday, many ethnic Chinese hold large celebrations and Canada Post issues New Year’s themed stamps in domestic and international rates.

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