Chinese New Year Celebrations 2013 – The Year of The Dragon
The Chinese new year 4710 began on 23 Jan 2012 and will be on 10 Feb 2013 next year. It is very interesting how it is calculated as Chinese months follow the lunar calendar where each month begins on the darkest day.
The Chinese year starts when the second moon is present after the winter solstice and is scientifically and mathematically calculated with utmost precision. As the year 2012 is the year of the dragon, it would be interesting to learn a bit more about what it entails.
Dragons in China
Dragons show up everywhere in China. You can see it in their poetry, songs, architecture, literature, arts and elsewhere. The Nine Dragon wall in BaiHai Park is a very popular site for tourists in Beijing. It features a giant dragon in the center of the 21 meter long wall. Besides the Nine Dragons, there are several smaller dragons covering the rest of the wall. In total, there are 635 dragons.
The Importance of The Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year also known as the Spring Festival is the most important of all the traditional holidays in China. The Spring season starts with lichun (First solar term in a Chinese calendar year), and marks the end of the winter season. New Year’s Eve in China, known as Chuxi, is a time for families to reunite and gather for their annual dinner.
New Year in China is the longest and most important festivity where the Chinese spend their money to decorate, buy presents, food, materials, and clothing. It is tradition for all concerned to clean out their living areas as a way to get rid of bad fortune and make way for good luck instead.
Chinese New Year Festivities
Families all over China have a whale of a time and get to feast on things like ducks, pigs, sweet delicacies and pigs on the Eve of Chinese New Year. The night will be closed with firecrackers. Respectfully, children will greet their parents, wishing them well for the new year and give and receive money in red coloured envelopes.
From there on, the festivities will run over a period of 15 days until the first moon, giving visitors enough time to get in on the action at New Year. As long as everyone involved did not forget to wear their red underwear as it is the year of the Dragon and it would be considered as unlucky if they did not wear it.
Dongyue Temple Fairs opened their gates for their people and visitors this year during the week of 23 January to 28 January 2012 where an entry fee of CNY10 (£1) were charged. Great fun was had by all as they witnessed various fun filled events such as stilt walkers, puppet shows, acrobats and calligraphers, opera singers, drum troupes, and storytellers.
In Hong Kong the skies were alight with various fireworks on 24 January 2012 at 20h00. This is the kind of thing that happens every year, but next year it is expected to take place on 11 February 2013 as Chinese New Year falls on 10 February 2013.