Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year celebrates the beginning of the year in the lunisolar Chinese calendar. Generally it falls between the end of January and the middle of February on the Gregorian calendar. This is the longest and most festive of Chinese holidays. Celebrations begin the night before and can sometimes last up to a month.
People of Chinese heritage celebrate the Chinese New Year all around the world. Chinese New Year is all about banishing bad fortune from the previous year and bringing good fortune into the New Year. People will often clean their houses to start fresh.
On New Year’s Eve, people get together to eat a traditional meal with family near and far. This is similar to Christmas dinner in the west. Red is a common color for clothing and traditional decorations such as lanterns around the New Year. This is because red was once believed to scare off the mythological dragon, Nian, who would terrorize the Chinese people around New Years’ time. Red envelopes filled with money are often given to children by married members of the family. Fireworks are often set off because they are believed to ward off evil spirits, keeping misfortune away for the coming year.