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Chinese New Year

Even though the year doesn’t seem to be a favourable one to you, the last day of it gains momentum, with all possible ways of partying; with all hopes of bliss and prosperity, with a joyous countdown. But you would pinch yourself twice when you get to know that the people in the Eastern part of the globe celebrate the birth of a new year for 15 days, experiencing the longest holidays of the year.  In fact, they don’t have a particular date for the Chinese New Year. The Spring Festival, as they call it, is celebrated on the basis of lunar calendar starting from December 23rd and stretching up to January 15th. With red lanterns, huge dragons alias monsters and millions of cheerful people dressed in crimson,  Chinese new year forms the East Asian version of our village carnival.

Each Chinese New Year is based on one of the 12 Chinese zodiac symbols: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig, all in order, and the year of that particular animal repeat once in 12 years. They are also characterized by Twelve Earthly branches, Ten Celestial Stems, Five Elements and Yin (Darkness)-Yang (Brightness). Each animal symbolizes the quality of the character; the quality of the character depicted by one animal does not match the other. 2019 marks the year of Pig and people born in the year of the Pig think logically and are able to fix whatever problem they're in. They aren't good communicators, but they're kind and able to provide for the family. Most of them are wealthy. Their only obvious fault is that they lose their temper easily.

Men born in the Pig year are optimistic and gentle. They are much focused. Once they decide on a goal, they’ll put everything into it. Women born in the Pig year are full of excitement. They attend social events whenever possible and treat everyone genuinely. Combined with their easy going personality, they gain everyone’s trust.

Most compatible with Pig: Tiger, Rabbit, Goat.

Least compatible with Pig: Snake, Monkey.

The important thing to note is that years of the animal in which they were born are believed to be unlucky for them.

Kicking off the main festivities is the Little Year on Lunar December 23rd, with the Spring Festival officially beginning on  January 1st  (December 30th is New Year's Eve) and ending with the Lantern Festival on January 15th. People get ready for the upcoming Spring Festival by Little Year itself. Usually, in tradition, the Chinese New Year marks the end of cold days; welcoming new spring, which brings along with it new harvest and new beginnings. January 15 marks the end of Spring Festival by celebrating Lantern Festival. When you come across this festival’s name, the scene from ‘Tangled’ ought to strike your memory. During Lantern Festival, people write some riddles in their lanterns which they used to call it Lantern Riddles. Then they light it and release it in the air. A full moon day with all those lanterns floating in the night sky, seeming like the moon gazing among those lanterns, is the best way to celebrate and to provide a fitting finish to the Lantern Festival and the Spring Festival! Can’t get better than this!!

The next time you happen to meet a Chinese friend during the time of Spring Festival, here’s how to wish them Happy New Year in Chinese: - Xīn – nián – kuài - lè!

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