feb2015-comic (2)Did you know that February 19, 2015 was  the start of Lunar New Year? That’s right! In Chinese culture, they see Chinese New Year as the official first day of the New Year. Normally, parades and festival dancing are commonly seen on streets. Fireworks, firecracker displays, Chinese costumes, and food stalls are all symbols of Chinese New Year.

 

Things to do for Chinese New Year:

The day before Chinese New Year, people who celebrate Chinese New Year clean up their houses in order to get rid of the ill-fortune and prepare for family reunions and delicious dinners. On the next day, windows and doors are decorated with red coloured Chinese paper-cutting or couplets because it is believed the color red represents good fortune. Relatives often visit each other despite having to travel long distances. While visiting others, red paper envelopes are given to children by their relatives and gifts are exchanged between adults as ways of blessing each other. The gifts are usually fruits, cookies, home baked food, and candies. There are things, however that cannot be shared in representation of bad luck, such as pears, clocks, green hats, umbrellas and sharp objects. Additionally, fireworks are almost inevitable. Although there is high restriction on the use of fireworks; they can still be heard throughout the town during Chinese New Year. Other traditions may exist according to the city or the town. Lanterns, red posters, fortune gods, dragon dances and lion dances are examples of activities found in certain cities and village.

 

Events found in Vancouver:

There are multiple events held in Vancouver throughout Chinese New Year! On February 18th, there was a huge performance in Aberdeen Center, Richmond. The catchy performance attracted tons of viewers standing not only around the stage, but also looking down from the second to third floor for just a glimpse of the exciting performance. Other events include the Vancouver Chinese Parade in Chinatown and Chinese New Year at International Village.

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The date of Chinese New Year:

Due to the difference between the lunar calendar and solar calendar, the date of Chinese New Year changes each year. The actually date is calculated through 12 years of different animals and five elements of Chinese astrology. The calculation involves the rotation of yin and yan and is too complicated for most of us to understand. The event usually occurs between January 21st to February 20th. This year’s New Year was on February 19th. It is now  the Year of the Goat, which means anyone born in 2003, 1991 or 1979 would have their animal year!

 

Find your own animal year (birth year)!!!

1997 —-Ox

1998 —-Tiger

1999 —-Rabbit

2000 —-Dragon

2001 —-Snake

* if you are  born in January or February, you may have a different animal than listed above